A hostage-taker who held a woman cleaner on board a Cathay Pacific jet for 2.5 hours was jailed yesterday for five years after a judge said the man's actions could have ended in a shootout at Chek Lap Kok. The man - known only as Todd and of unknown nationality - remained impassive in the dock as Madam Justice Clare-Marie Beeson passed sentence. Todd, who is believed to be about 30 and speaks an unknown dialect and little English, appeared in court in the same shirt that he wore during the ordeal on July 31 last year. He had earlier pleaded guilty to one count of carrying an imitation firearm with intent to commit an offence and one count of false imprisonment. Madam Justice Beeson said she accepted defence counsel Corinne Remedios' submission that Todd's actions were a crude, self-destructive cry for help. She ordered Todd to serve five years for having the imitation firearm. He was also sentenced to three years and four months for holding the woman hostage, to be served concurrently. Todd claimed to come from Hassan, a village of 200 people near the borders of northern Thailand, Burma and Laos, and not on any map. He said he only carried out the act in a desperate attempt to get home. The drama began when he pointed his pistol at security guards who attempted to stop him from entering a restricted area of the airport. He forced a Nepali cleaner, 29, aboard an empty Cathay Pacific plane, where he kept police at bay for 2.5 hours. Yesterday, Madam Justice Beeson noted that Todd was remorseful about his actions and wished to apologise to his victim, who had to be treated for shock. Madam Justice Beeson said the reaction of the police would have been the same if Todd's gun had been real. 'There is always the possibility that security forces would have opened fire,' she said. After the hearing in the Court of First Instance, prosecutor Daniel Ozorio said Todd's wish to return home was now in the hands of the Immigration Department, who were still trying to identify him. Todd was first picked up by officials in Wan Chai on June 24, 1999, and was held in custody for further investigation after he told authorities he came to Hong Kong in a helicopter to look for his friends. When he was released, he was forced to live on the streets. After his arrest at Chek Lap Kok, Todd told police in broken English: 'Stay in Hong Kong is no use. No ID, no work, no money. I want to go home.'