A CLOWN in full costume sparked a security scare when he tried to board a charity flight at Birmingham International Airport.
Dave Vaughan, who performs under the name PC Konk, set off a metal detector and was detained by security guards who searched him.
The problem turned out to be a length of wire holding up his colourful pantaloons - he was also wearing huge shoes and a flashing police helmet.
Dave, who was due to entertain disadvantaged children for the Variety Club, had a pair of plastic handcuffs taken away from him by security staff, but they let him go after 10 minutes.
An airport spokeswoman defended the guards against criticism in news media that they acted in a heavy-handed manner.
“PC Konk was not strip searched but we did have to check some metal wire in his costume and confiscate his handcuffs, and the process that our security team followed was absolutely correct and in line with national guidelines,” she said.
“It is the airport’s job to get people through the airport safely and securely, and we find it remarkable that we are being criticised for taking steps to protect our passengers on the 20th anniversary of the Lockerbie incident.
“Had our security guards not have acted in this correct way, we are sure that we’d be facing more serious questioning.”