The middle-aged man arrested over the Gatwick drone ‘attack’ has been described as a ‘hard working family man’ with ‘no silly opinions’ by neighbours.

Police arrested a couple after swooping on a new build house in Crawley, West Sussex, just three miles away from the airport.

Elaine Kirk, 54, and Paul Gait, 47, have been named locally as the middle-aged suspects police arrested, but their neighbours believe they have the wrong couple.

Paul Gait and Elaine Kirk-Gait were arrested today in connection with flying drone at Gatwick Airport (Picture: INS)

Neighbours said Paul and Elaine are a hard working couple who ‘graft six days a week’ and share a love of gadgets.

Bob Simpkin, 74, said: ‘Paul is what you could describe as an average person, a hard working builder.

‘I was shocked to hear what happened, I do believe the police have got the wrong people – this is totally out of character.

‘Last night I heard a lot of screaming and shouting, when I looked outside I saw a woman being led to a police van by a female copper.

‘The van was parked outside their house and I saw a woman led into the van.’

Police remain outside the property in Crawley (Picture: London News Pictures Ltd)

He added: ‘Elaine doesn’t seem the person to get involved in any trouble – she works a lot too from what I can tell.

‘Were they the couple who flew the drone at the airport? I don’t think so.

‘Their drone was just not big enough, it is only about a metre wide.

‘Paul is just not stupid enough to do that – I’ve got the feeling the police are wrong.

‘He is more into his model helicopters, I’ve seen him use them, but only around his property.’

A police officer on duty outside a home in Auckland Close, Crawley, West Sussex which has been searched in connection with the drone incident at Gatwick airport (Picture: PA)

Bob, now retired, is a fundraiser for military charity The Danny Gallivan Trust – but used to run his own carpentry company.

He said: ‘Paul is the kind of man I would have given a job if I was still running my company.’

He added: ‘Paul never came across as a nutter and he had no silly opinions.’

Another neighbour, who did not want to be named, said: ‘They don’t seem the type to do this, they’re down to earth.

Gait, 47, is a builder with a fascination for flying model helicopters and neighbours at their home

‘He’s a builder and she works somewhere six days a week.

‘Paul likes his gadgets, he only ever used his drone in the street – you could hear all that buzzing sound.’

Another neighbour said: ‘Paul is a hard working family man, it is unbelievable.

‘These are just two lovely people that met dog walking and worked six days a week.

‘Police have been there since late last night.’

Two police vans and a car remain at their semi-detached house.

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