Pilot accused of flying illegal immigrants into UK on his aircraft set to plead not guilty

Three men and a woman all aged between 21 and 64, remain detained under immigration powers

Published

Pilot Richard Styles is set to plead not guilty to flying illegal immigrants into the UK on his aircraft.

He is accused of flying four Albanian nationals into the UK illegally.

Styles was arrested at Deenethorpe Airfield near Corby in Northamptonshire on Thursday having just flown his twin-engine plane to the airfield from Belgium.

A plane belonging to pilot Richard Styles
A plane belonging to pilot Richard Styles

The 52-year-old appeared in front of magistrates in Northampton on Saturday where he indicated his not guilty plea and that he had no fixed address.

General view of Leicester Crown Court, Leicester.
General view of Leicester Crown Court, Leicester.

Three men and a woman all aged between 21 and 64, remain detained under immigration powers.

Styles was detained along with the four Albanian nationals after Northamptonshire Police officers, assisted by the National Crime Agency stopped their taxi as it was leaving the airfield.

The operation was also supported by Border Force and Immigration Enforcement.

Styles, of no fixed abode, was remanded into custody to appear at Leicester Crown Court on April 25.

NCA Regional Head of Investigations Jacque Beer said: “We know people smugglers use a range of methods to try and breach UK border controls and we remain alive to the threats.

“Working with our law enforcement partners we are determined to do all we can to stop them.

“The aviation and local community can play a vital role in preventing border crime, and whether you work in the aviation industry, are a keen pilot, or live locally, you should report any unusual or suspicious activity at a UK airfield or airport immediately.”