View Full Version : Qantas threat, man charged

2nd Jan 2003, 06:53

Qantas threat, man charged

A 21-YEAR-OLD British man has been charged with threatening an aircraft following an incident on a Qantas flight in Cairns.

A UK Citizen on a temporary working visa appeared in Cairns Magistrates Court this morning with the matter adjourned until later today.

An Australian Federal Police spokesman said Australian Protective Service officers were called to Qantas Flight 800 at Cairns airport about 9.45pm (AEST) yesterday.

He said the flight had not yet departed Cairns for Darwin when the man allegedly produced an aerosol can from his hand luggage and sprayed the contents in the cabin.

He also allegedly produced a knife and made threatening remarks about hijacking the plane.

The spokesman said Australian Federal Police officers had arrested and charged the man with making a threatening and false statement under the Federal Crime(Aviation) Act.

Tourist jailed for throwaway threat on Qantas plane
January 3 2003

A British tourist has become the first person in Australia since the September 11 terrorist attacks to be jailed for making a threatening comment aboard an aircraft.

Thomas John Lilico, 22, sat in the dock of Cairns Magistrates Court yesterday with his head in his hands and was led out crying after magistrate Ken Lynn sentenced him to three months' jail, suspended after one month, followed by a 12-month, $300 good behaviour bond.

Lilico was charged after an incident aboard a Qantas flight that was due to leave Cairns for Darwin at 9.45pm on New Year's Day.

The court was told that a flight attendant handing out headsets heard Lilico say, "I'm going to pull my knife out and hijack the plane."

The comment was made off the cuff and directed to no one in particular, the court heard. But the attendant felt immediately threatened and shocked, and told the captain.

Lilico pleaded guilty to making a threatening or false statement which threatened or endangered the safety of the aircraft and its passengers.

The Commonwealth prosecutor and defence counsel had submitted that a fine was the appropriate sentence, but Mr Lynn disagreed.

He said he would make an example of Lilico. In the present world climate, people making statements aboard aircraft needed to be held accountable, he said.

"It really is a case that persons who have too much to drink ... at times say things they don't mean, and because of that there has been some suggestion that your behaviour should not have been regarded as seriously.

"I think it should be made very clear that if the decision is made to drink too much and then going onto an aircraft and making smart comments ... are things that won't go without consequences."

Lilico told AFP officers he did not remember making the remark and that he had consumed eight pints of heavy beer, as well as still being under the effects of New Year's Eve, in the six hours before boarding the aircraft.


Hugh Jarse
3rd Jan 2003, 08:11
So how did this ******** 'allegedly' get a knife through security?

And why did the gate staff not realise he was intoxicated?

Once again, leave it to the aircraft crew (the last chain of defence) to sort it out. :mad:

Ar$eholes! :mad:

Islander Jock
3rd Jan 2003, 08:48
G'day Hugh,

In the report I heard, apparently the ******** in question had a knife in his checked baggage, not in his carry on.

Still a pi$$weak sentence though. Should have been 12 month minimum with no parole! Perhaps realistic sentencing would make future would be dickheads think twice.

3rd Jan 2003, 22:02
I also have to wonder if some form of investigation will be held as to WHY an obviously drunk pax was allowed on board to start with.
He had to get past check in, what is supposed to be security,wander around the airport and the Cairns terminal isn't very big and has staff in a good place to observe everybody, then through the boarding gates then onto the aircraft past the flight attendant at the door.
Maybe more than the drunken idiot needs a kick up the a#$% over this.
Quite frankly what do they expect from a pissed moron who they LET on board.

He may not have appeared drunk, BUT, after 8 pints I bet he did. Can't remember how many times I have had the flight attendant report a pax not in a suitable state to fly only after he has made it all the way to the aircraft door.

4th Jan 2003, 04:50
coldn't agree more, these problems can be sorted out by vigilant ground staff before the person in question gets to the boarding gate and situations such as this avoided...

Hugh Jarse
4th Jan 2003, 06:59
If I had 8 pints I'd be in hospital having my stomach pumped.

Airlines bring a lot of this upon their crews. Too gutless to lead by example and exclude individuals from travelling. And then they serve grog on the plane!

The trouble is that when you offload some ******** because of "lack of fitness to fly", those other dickheads in checkin simply attempt (and often succeed) in getting the offenders on the next flight. However, they mysteriously fail to inform the next Captain that the ******** was offloaded from a previous flight.......

Ain't it fun, folks?

Mr. Hat
4th Jan 2003, 09:33
These people should not only be jailed but also be banned from airline travel altogether. As if we need jokers like these making other pax and the general public worry. Zero tollerance is the answer:mad: .

Nice record to have being sent to jail for that sort of thing - Serves the dumb p***k right!

4th Jan 2003, 11:09
Maybe but I see it a little like the idiot who streaks at a cricket match, the hooligan at soccer matches etc, they are part of society unfortunately. We cannot lock them all up but we can prevent them from flying.
My point is that the airlines, the airport owners, god knows they charge enough and for what, are equally responsible as the drunken idiot for letting him on the aircraft. Lets look a little further than a drunken POHM who at the end of the day was harmless just pissed and see what is happening at airport security. Nothing!
Security is suposed to be at its highest, yet he has no trouyble getting on, some x copper boards a flight in darwin with a knife just to prove a point, i personally had an idiot playing with a knife on board an aircraft, what do these security people look for apart from nail cliipers. aircraft will only be safe when they get it right on the ground.
IMHO until they employ competent and well trained security we have no idea what is in the cabin, let alone what is in checked in baggage. Just a facade for the general public and our ever vigilant newspapers. NOT

4th Jan 2003, 13:34
Pay Peanuts, get monkeys..............

Sheep Guts
4th Jan 2003, 16:27
The security guys have a fair bit on their plate.

They check the obvious:

3.Dangerous Goods (very large portfolio)

As pilots weve all done a DG IATA and CASA Approved course, and realise all the different items a security screener has to check, before letting someone through without inconviening them.
There really is not enough time, without getting people to check 2 hrs before departure, to check everything.

Now you want them to check if there Pi$$ed, well thats a bit much. I am not saying that they should be ignorant of it, but I suggest its hard to screen for pisspots unless the bring out the Breathilizer, and that would cause many more delays and angry pax.

My question is what about customer service at the gate, where were they ?Or are they ducking for cover.


4th Jan 2003, 18:28
No I wasn't suggesting that the security people be soley responsible for screening for pissed people, but if the obvious one goes through then it could be brought to the attention of the appropriate person. Taking into account that the "pissed person" may only be seeing some body off and no risk at all. How about the bar staff, did he drink there, should they be resposnsible to report him to the airlines or just keep filling him up and wish him a good flight?
Some thing to do with cheese and holes!

I am supprised you are satisfied with the current standard of security though. If people are still boarding aircraft with knifes that are found by "cabin crew" then they are being screened well enough. At the moment they are more likely to confiscate a pair of nail clippers than a hunting knife.

If we are aware that some knifes are getting on board, what aren't we aware of. A serious threat isn't going to be caught playing with it, (his knife that is) by a flight attendant.

5th Jan 2003, 00:38
Ahh the old 'Beer made me do it (but I'm really a nice guy)' excuse.

If you are so p1ssed that you can not remember doing something then it's doubtfull you can walk to the check-in counter.

For once a good decision by a Judge.

A month in the lockup is plenty of time to regret being a total [email protected]

Especially when he faces possible deportation after his month with the boys in 'D' block.

Good riddance and with a record he won't be allowed back.

Mr. Hat
5th Jan 2003, 08:31
RENURPP - I agree with what you are saying - there needs to be a tightening of the standards across the board. However - The streaker at the cricket/soccer is funny and I suppose annoying at times. Harmless though..except for the serial pest at Australia v Iran in 98.

The idiot that starts talking about knives and hijaking whilst aboard an aeroplane isn't funny. He/ She is dangerous and should be treated as such. As if the crew want to deal with that sort of crap on top of everything else.

Think of this - say you are on the turps and get questioned by the police about whatever - do you start crapping on about something that is going to land you in strife. No - most people just say - "Yep, ok." and are on there way. The same should be on an aeroplane.

Yes, he was drunk but could act sober enough to get past everyone so therefore he should have had the presence of mind to not carry on the way he did. If he was that sloshed that he had no idea of his actions then how on earth did he get in? That I suppose bring us back to your point:) .

I bet you he sobered up REAL fast once he was being escorted off the aeroplane.

6th Jan 2003, 11:18
Mr Hat,
I agree with what you said.
Drunks do get passed everybody from checkin, security flight attendants etc.

My whole point is that he should not have even got close to the aircraft and thats were any inquiry would be better served focusing its attention.

How did he get on board????

6th Jan 2003, 12:48
Speaking to a mate of mine recently who had the misfortune of some idiot on board who jokingly claimed to have a bomb on a flight from Bris to Rocky. After making the decision to have said idiot removed, felt sorry for him as he apologised to the crew and seemed genuinely contrite. A momentary lapse of thought would have far reaching consequences that may affect this unthinking persons life.Untill........ Reading about said idiots day in court where he was fined $7500 and it was revealed that this person had previously been found guilty of a similar offence just a few years ago.
These people need to be not only removed from aircraft but banned from ever traveling again !

Mr. Hat
7th Jan 2003, 02:50
$7500- wow thats nice. He'll hink twice about pulling that one again:) .

7th Jan 2003, 05:46
As an ex ansett cabin manager , I can honestly say there were many times that I was cajoled by the ground staff to let a pissed pax on board. " he's had a few but he's happy and harmless " was the stock approach. It took me only once to realise that this really meant was " this guy is a pain and we just want him out of here so we don't have to deal with him on the ground"]

This one time involved a full flight from ool to mel on christmas eve. The pax involved was drunk , no doubt.
I bent and let him on. BIG MISTAKE ! He threw up on take off and continued to throughout the flight. Not aggressive or abnoxious ,but the fact remained that some poor pax who paid good dollar for a seat had to sit next to this idiot for two hours!

NEVER AGAIN I decided ,and stuck to my guns. It is a pity I had to resort to tech. crew assistance on several occaisions to get my way. I know things have changed over the last couple of years but these idiots must get what they deserve.

Beleive me it is a lot easier to deal with these pricks on the ground than on an aircraft.

Dark Knight
8th Jan 2003, 01:28
Had he been there would he have walked up and put a well called for round through this idiots head??

Imagine the Bleeding Hearts, Civil Libertarines, Carmen Lawrence, Malcolm Fraser's, Et Al pleading discrimination, etc.

12 years in the Slammer, no parole period, minimum sentence would have been more appropriate but then the judge is probably another Bleeding Heart?

8th Jan 2003, 01:50
AAP Wed 8/1/03

Plane threat Briton to appeal
By Suzanne Klotz
January 08, 2003

A BRITISH tourist who became the first person in Australia to be jailed for making threats aboard a plane is appealing his prison sentence.

Thomas John Lilico, 22, was jailed for three months, suspended after one month, and placed on a 12-month, $300 good behaviour bond, by the Cairns Magistrates Court, in far north Queensland on January 2 this year.

Lilico had pleaded guilty to making a threatening or false statement which threatened or endangered plane and passenger safety aboard a Qantas flight about to take-off from Cairns on New Year's Day.

Both the commonwealth prosecution and the defence had submitted a fine would be appropriate, but Magistrate Ken Lynn said an example needed to be made of such conduct in the current world climate.

Although Lilico admitted telling a flight attendant he had a knife and intended to take over the plane, he also said he had no memory of doing so because he was heavily intoxicated.

District Court Judge Michael Noud will hear the appeal by phone hook-up between Cairns and Brisbane later today.

Judge Noud said he would be examining several issues including the basis on which Lilico was sentenced and the weight which should be given to his otherwise good character.


Islander Jock
8th Jan 2003, 12:23
District Court Judge:

"Mr Lilico, after reviewing the evidence presented at this appeal I am of the opinion that the original sentence was handed down with a failure to fully take into account the circumstances surrounding the case. I am further convinced that the sentence imposed, given those circumstances was grossly inappropriate.

I therefore impose upon you, a term of imprisonment of 12 months without parole" :D

8th Jan 2003, 22:20
Darl Knight.

The answer is, no he wouldn't. Sky Marshalls do not have such a simplistic role buddy, but here is not the place to discuss their role.

Pinky the pilot
10th Jan 2003, 03:14
I've always been under the impression that it is illegal to board passengers whom are obviously intoxicated. No ifs or buts.:confused:

11th Jan 2003, 07:56
Just reading this thread makes me glad up gave up the pax scene and became a "Freight Dog" 8 yrs ago. (sorta forced on me)

Pays nearly as well, coffee's OK and ye're we fix our own meals BUT we don't have to put up with these type of morons.

Here's a suggestion:

Sack all the ground handling idiots from check-in through
security to the gate mob, hire more freight handlers who
as you know do a DG and compliance course and I can say
it is extremely rare to have a screw up but it happens.
Then see if a pissed idiot can get to an aircraft.


............................................................ .............................................

Hand me another Guiness No. 1 :D :D :D :D

Dark Knight
14th Jan 2003, 22:39
Which with all the Bleeding Heart Judges, Magistrates was a monty to occur.

Sends a perfect message to the Pagans, Heathens and Barbarians bent on destroying our way of life how simplistic and ineffectual our security systems are.


Then what is the role of a Sky Marshall? How effective is one going to be in an atmoshere where it is necessary to ensure we do not have to accept any responisibility for one's actions; have to ensure before law enforcement everyone's rights, that is except the victims, are protected?

And, why isn't this a place where the role of Sky Marshalls cannot be discussed?

Seems they are going to be pretty ineffectual against the determined and hardened terrorist?

Seems I remember we fought a war in recent times where the hands of our boys were tied behind their back and we lost!

However, we can always plead lack of sanity, excessive alcohol or drug use.

15th Jan 2003, 05:24

Plane threat tourist freed

A British tourist jailed after threatening to hijack a plane has walked free amid concerns his imprisonment was a knee-jerk response post-September 11.

A Corrective Services Department spokesman said Thomas James Lilico, 22, a university tutor, was released from the Lotus Glen prison on the Atherton Tableland, in far north Queensland, today.

Lilico was the first person jailed in Australia since the 2001 September 11 terrorist attacks in the United States for making threatening comments aboard an aircraft.

Australian Council for Civil Liberties president Terry O'Gorman said there was a risk post-September 11 of unduly harsh punishment being imposed on people like Lilico.

"I do have a concern that post-September 11, there is the risk of a knee-jerk response to something that would otherwise be seen as silly, annoying but ... not harmful drunken behaviour," Mr O'Gorman told AAP.

Cairns Magistrate Ken Lynn earlier this month jailed Lilico for three months, to be suspended after a month, after he pleaded guilty to making threatening comments aboard an aircraft.

Mr Lynn was told a drunken Lilico was overheard by a flight attendant on Qantas flight 800 saying he was going to pull out a knife and hijack the plane.

The aircraft was preparing to leave Cairns for Darwin.

Evidence was given Lilico had pulled a blue roll-on deodorant tube from a small bag but had been asleep by the time protective services officers came to remove him from the plane.

Mr O'Gorman said discretion could have been used in the Lilico case.

"I think airlines have got to act with a little balance," he said.

"I think it's a different situation if that sort of a comment was made inflight.

"I think there's got to be a significant difference between the silly comments of a drunk compared with ... someone who makes a comment and there is evidence found that that comment had some seriousness behind it."

Lilico walked free after the Queensland Court of Appeal ordered his release.

Appeal court Justice Glen Williams said the custodial sentence was called for given the prevailing world circumstances but Lilico should be released considering his youth, character and exemplary background.

Drunk NZ flyer attacks passengers

A drunken passenger has attacked and threatened to kill other travellers and crew aboard an Air New Zealand flight to Los Angeles, airline officials said.

The passenger is understood to have been restrained by crew aboard the flight, which was six hours out of Auckland when the incident happened earlier this week.

He was escorted off the plane by LA airport police when it landed and detained until FBI agents arrived.

Sgt Henry Acosta, of the LA airport police, told the New Zealand Herald the FBI later released the passenger, who was aged in his 30s.

Mr Acosta said no weapons were involved and no one was hurt.

"He was threatening to fight them and beat them up," he said.

"There were a lot of profanities and threats. I guess it is called air rage. The FBI did not believe it was serious enough to keep him in custody."

Air NZ spokeswoman Rosie Paul said such incidents happened "from time to time" in the aviation industry.

In this case, the cabin crew had not been serving the man alcohol, but he had been drinking his own, she told NZPA.

"The individual got quite irrational and crews are trained to deal with these situations," she said.

"It did not cause disruption to the flight other than verbal abuse, which is not terribly nice on a flight."

Ms Paul said the crew would have contained the man as much as possible until the aircraft landed in Los Angeles. The 747-400 jumbo then continued on to London as scheduled.

She said the matter was in the hands of the local police and the airline would not be laying charges.

However, if individuals who had been assaulted wanted to take legal action, the airline would support them.

İAAP 2003

15th Jan 2003, 05:42
Yep freight is definitely the go, I haven't had to "arrest" a pallet or parcel yet (had to restrain a few) AND they don't get released on appeal. :D :D

16th Jan 2003, 21:57
If a flight attendant reported to you as Captain that a drunk passenger down the back made a stupid comment about hijacking bombs etc, say he was with hhis mates and it was fairly obvious he was just playing the idiot, what would you do?

Do you think there would be repercussions if you just had a quiet word with him and he seemed to accept that it was stupid thing to say of would you have the "Feds" waiting armed and ready to wrestle him to the ground and cart him off to a high security prison?