Vic man's plane bomb threat jail term cut

Karen Sweeney
Manodh Marks was the first person in Australia jailed for attempting to take control of an aircraft

A man who threatened to blow up a Malaysian Airlines plane with 222 people on board has had his sentence slashed after it was argued he was seriously "psychiatrically unwell".

Manodh Marks, the first person in Australia to be jailed for attempting to take control of an aircraft, could be on his way home to Sri Lanka in just two-and-a-half years after the Court of Appeal granted his bid for a reduced sentence.

Instead of the 12 years maximum and nine-year non-parole period handed down, Marks received a reduced eight-year maximum sentence on Friday.

He has already served half of the new five-year non-parole period.

The original sentences was excessive they said, noting it was a case where Marks had used a "trick" rather than a real bomb.

Marks will be deported to Colombo when his release is granted. His lawyer Paul Smallwood told the appeal court he was already on his way home when the incident occurred in May 2017.

He had only been released from a psychiatric facility hours before he boarded the flight.

A psychiatrist found Marks was in an "early, very fragile stage of partial recovery from his earlier psychotic episode" when he was discharged which would have made him particularly sensitive to the psychosis inducing effects of the ice he took on he way to the airport.

Within 15 minutes of take-off he went to the Airbus' cockpit door, holding a device with blue flashing lights in his hand and threatened he would "blow the f***ing plane up" the Kuala Lumpur-bound flight.

"This is a man who was very, very psychiatrically unwell," Mr Smallwood said during the appeal hearing.

The device turned out to be a bluetooth speaker and battery pack.

Prosecutors had said the fact the device was not a real bomb did not obliterate his moral culpability, but it was lower than if the bomb had been real.

"They are terrorised exactly as if it was a real bomb," Justice Simon Whelan said in agreement.

The plane landed within 15 minutes, but it took 40 minutes for security to arrive and passengers had to remain on board for nearly 90 minutes after.