A man has been handed a suspended jail sentence after attempting to bring a hand grenade through customs at Heathrow Airport recently, forcing an evacuation. 

The 19-year-old Italian national was sentenced to to two-months' imprisonment, suspended for one year, and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £128 after a court hearing at Uxbridge Magistrates' Court on Monday.

He was previously charged by police with carrying a prohibited article in an aerodrome and pleaded guilty to the offence.

The hand grenade, which was later found to be de-commissioned, was spotted by customs officials working in Heathrow Departures, as a spokesperson for the Met described. 

"The item was quickly spotted by Heathrow security officers during security checks in the departures area of Terminal 2 at around 17:30hrs on Friday 15 January and the area was evacuated as a result.

"Specialist officers attended, and were able to identify the item as a decommissioned hand grenade and confirmed that it posed no threat to staff or passengers."

Chief Superintendent Sean Wilson who leads the Met's Aviation Policing Command, meanwhile described bringing the item into the airport as "reckless and dangerous":

"Bringing a hand grenade - albeit decommissioned - was both reckless and dangerous and it caused a huge amount of disruption to the airport and for other passengers.

"There are various security checks in place to identify prohibited items such as this and when this item was spotted, we had specialist officers on-hand to quickly respond. Thankfully they were able to identify the item was not a threat and nobody was hurt.

"This should be a reminder and warning to all passengers to ensure that they are not bringing any prohibited items with them into the airport and if you are not sure, then check with the airport and airline you are flying with," he said.