We’ve said it often but it seems that some people never learn. Booze and flying just don’t mix. This time it was a drunken passenger who began punching and kicking the windows of a Thomson holiday flight from Egypt to Cardiff, at 32,000ft has found himself in court. Apparently Gareth Jackson downed 11 beers and a quarter of a litre of vodka before getting on board. As a result the 34-year-old was jailed for eight months after he admitted being drunk on an aircraft and interfering (no not that way!) with cabin crew.
Cardiff Crown Court heard that Jackson caused 'near panic' among the 230 passengers on the five-and-a-half hour flight. It started when he became aggressive and abusive to his now heavily pregnant partner Emma Hall, passengers and cabin crew. Parents even resorted to putting headphones on their children so they could not hear him shouting and swearing at one point the captain, William Darroth, considered diverting to Venice.
Instead the pilot sped up the flight and authorised the use of restraints on Jackson; while Jackson was in the toilet, some male passengers agreed to help cabin crew restrain him. He at first broke free from the plastic restraints but they managed to secure him with the child seatbelts, although Jackson continued to shout for the rest of the flight before being arrested at Cardiff Airport.
Sentencing Jackson, Judge Neil Bidder QC said: 'It's fair to say you engendered near panic on the flight.'