A British traveller flew from Heathrow to New York without a ticket or passport, leaving UK security red-faced.

The traveller, 46-year-old Craig Sturt, successfully navigated his way through Heathrow's high-security checks at Terminal 5 by tailgating another passenger.

Subsequently, he enjoyed complimentary meals and beverages on a British Airways flight before landing in America.

On arrival, Sturt was apprehended by armed officers who found him without any official documents.

He was flown back to the UK on a charter flight and handed over to Met Police officers at 8pm on December 25.

However, the saga does not end here.

After being taken to a hospital in Reading, Mr Sturt managed to escape and currently remains at large, prompting an urgent missing person appeal.

A source told the Daily Mail: "Heads will roll. It's staggering this could happen.

"It doesn't bear thinking about what might have happened if a terrorist had successfully boarded a flight undetected.

"This is a major embarrassment."

Mr Sturt's successful navigation through the airport's security system has raised significant questions about the robustness of UK's airport security.

In response to the incident, a Heathrow spokeswoman said: "All people who go airside are subject to security screening, including the individual involved in this case.

"We are supporting the authorities with their ongoing investigation."

The Met Police responded to the incident saying: "On December 24, 2023, police were made aware of an alleged breach of security at Heathrow airport and a male was subsequently arrested and later charged with Fraud and Aviation Security Act offences."

British Airways simply noted it was assisting the authorities with their investigation.

Meanwhile, Thames Valley Police issued a detailed description of Mr Sturt who they describe as 6ft tall, slim, with short dark brown hair.

He was last seen wearing a grey jacket, a top, black jogging bottoms, and white trainers.

Anyone who spots him has been advised to call 999 immediately.

Mr Sturt has been accused of obtaining services by deception, being unlawfully airside, and boarding an aircraft without permission.

After evading the hospital in Reading, a warrant for his arrest was issued on January 22.

Adding to this dramatic tale, Mr Sturt was sighted withdrawing £200 in cash from a machine on Tottenham Court Road in London, but is still yet to be found by police.

Despite being remanded for an appearance at Uxbridge Magistrates' Court, Mr Sturt's current whereabouts remain