Briton detained in Egypt over ‘pat on back’ tired but happy after flying home

By Michael Drummond, PA South East Correspondent and Luke Powell, PA
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Briton detained in Egypt over ‘pat on back’ tired but happy after flying home

A British father-of-four who was detained in Egypt accused of “patting” a male airport security guard on the back says he is “very tired” but happy to be home.

Tony Camoccio, 51, arrived back on British soil on Sunday afternoon and was met by a crowd of family and friends ready to celebrate his return.

Supporters of the London businessman had feared he would be falsely accused of sexual assault after the alleged incident at Hurghada International Airport on February 8.

Mr Camoccio flew back on Sunday with his Easyjet flight EZY9862 touching down at a rainy and windy London Gatwick about 1pm.

He strolled through arrivals at the North Terminal looking relieved and was greeted with hugs from his family.

Speaking to the PA news agency as he was hugged and congratulated by half a dozen well-wishers, Mr Camoccio said: “I am tired, very tired.

“We just want to get home. I just want to thank everybody but I’ve got to get back.

“I’ve got a really sore throat.

“But I just want to say thank you to everybody. All of my family are here.”

Mr Camoccio, who has visited Egypt several times, was at the end of a holiday with his wife and a large group of friends when the incident is alleged to have happened at an airport checkpoint.

Later, Mr Camoccio was hugged by his sons in the doorway of his detached house in Sutton as he arrived home.

Speaking outside, he told the PA news agency: “I’m really happy to be back. I now just want to get in and see my family.

“It’s brilliant to see my family again.”

More than 5,000 people had signed an online petition by Saturday calling for him to be released.

The petition to free Tony Comoccio (petition.org/PA)

Campaign group Detained in Dubai said on Saturday that Mr Camoccio had been released from Egyptian custody after paying about £1,000 in bail and other related costs.

Speaking for the family after his return, Mr Camoccio’s sister Liz Doody said: “We are very relieved that we got him home.

“We appreciate the help from the public and yourselves (the media) and the online support was terrific.

“It really gathered momentum. And thanks very much for everything.”

Detained in Dubai’s chief executive Radha Stirling said: “The case has been dismissed for lack of evidence, and Tony will be flying home to the UK on the next available flight from Cairo.

“While the charges were clearly without merit, we have to emphasise that had British authorities and the international press not paid attention to this case, there is no reason to believe that Tony would be a free man today.”