Airport stunt: TV crew plead guilty

By Edward Gay

TV3 comedian Ben Boyce has pleaded guilty to charges relating to an airport stunt. Photo / NZ Herald
TV3 comedian Ben Boyce has pleaded guilty to charges relating to an airport stunt. Photo / NZ Herald

A TV3 comedian involved in an airport stunt that went wrong has pleaded guilty to giving false information to get access to a security area at Auckland International Airport.

Pulp Sport star Ben Boyce was filming an episode for a new series of Wanna-Ben last September when a skit involving someone dressed in a fake pilot's uniform at Auckland Airport turned serious.

Six men from the show - Boyce, Bryce Casey, Andrew Robinson, Daniel Watkins, Craig O'Reilly and Gregory Clarke - were arrested and charged under the Civil Aviation Act for providing false information in an attempt to gain access to a secure area.

They had earlier pleaded not guilty but changed their plea when they appeared at the Manukau District Court today.

Judge Gus Andree Wiltens ordered Clarke, O'Reilly and Watkins to pay police $250 for the costs of their prosecution but discharged them without conviction, meaning their criminal records will stay clean.

Besides the guilty plea, APNZ is unable to report the nature of the hearing in relation to Boyce, Robinson or Casey for legal reasons.

The charge carries a maximum of 12 months imprisonment and a $10,000 fine.

Sergeant Mike Morgan also asked for the footage to be destroyed.

Judge Andree Wiltens said the footage "shows an ill-conceived to do something which backfired''.

Outside court Boyce said he was "extremely sorry'' to all involved.

Asked if it was an expensive joke, Boyce nodded. He said he could not say anything else until the matter was finally dealt with.

Boyce, Robinson and Casey are due back in court in July.

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