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Brit Jailed for QF Hijack Quip

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Brit Jailed for QF Hijack Quip

Old 3rd Jan 2003, 04:25
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Brit Jailed for QF Hijack Quip

Another in a continuing series...

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January 03, 2003

Australia jails British tourist for hijack joke
By Roger Maynard in Sydney and Sam Lister

A YOUNG British tourist who threatened to hijack a packed aircraft during a drunken prank was sent to prison for three months yesterday in Australia.

Thomas James Lilico, 21, burst into tears as he became the first person to fall foul of tough new anti-terrorism laws passed by the Australian Government after the September 11 terrorist attacks in the United States.

Lilico, from Darlington, Co Durham, was arrested on New Year’s Day after an attendant on a domestic flight from Cairns to Darwin overheard him talking to friends about using a knife to seize the aircraft.

The Briton, who had consumed eight pints of beer before boarding, also produced an aerosol from his luggage and started spraying the contents in the cabin.

Lilico and five friends were removed from the flight before take-off and he was charged under Australia’s Federal Crime (Aviation) Act. He admitted to police that he had drunk heavily before boarding and was still hung-over from a New Year’s Eve party. No knife was found in Lilico’s hand luggage and the aerosol was later identified as an asthma inhaler.

Ken Lynn, a magistrate sitting at Cairns Magistrates’ Court, said that he wanted to make an example of Lilico. The Briton, who was on a working holiday in Australia after completing a degree last summer, claimed that he could remember nothing of the incident.

Mr Lynn accepted that there was never any intention to carry out the threat, but he said that it should be made clear that if a decision was taken to drink too much, then go on to an aircraft and make “smart comments”, then the perpetrator must accept that his actions would have consequences.

Lilico admitted making a threatening and false statement in breach of the Federal Crime (Aviation) Act, becoming the first person to be imprisoned under the Act in Australia since it adopted a “zero tolerance” policy towards threatening remarks, in the wake of September 11 and the Bali bombings.

He will spend a month behind bars, with the remaining two months of his sentence being suspended. Only one other person has been convicted since the Bali bombings for a similar offence in Australia. That case ended with a Ł1,300 fine but no prison sentence.

Lilico’s parents, Jim, an officer with Darlington Borough Council, and Dorothy, a school administrator, were not available for comment last night.

Neighbours in the street in Darlington where the Briton lives said that the incident was completely out of character.

Sylvia Macdonald, who lives two doors from the Lilicos’ Edwardian family home, said: “Tom is a lovely lad. I can’t believe this has happened to him. He’s not a hooligan or a lout. He is just an ordinary young lad who has never caused his parents a moment of trouble in the past.

“They will be devastated that a thing like this has happened to a boy who has never been in trouble in his life. He must have had too much to drink and not realised the trouble that he was getting himself into. It’s a real shock and I feel deeply sorry for the whole of his family.”

A man who answered the door of the Lilicos’ home would not comment on the matter.

Mark Haslam, a criminal defence solicitor and partner at Burton Copeland, said that the speed of Australian justice was indicative of the severity with which such an incident is viewed.

He said that Lilico’s offence would attract an immediate custodial sentence, although in Britain the legal process might be slowed down by the compiling of pre-sentence reports.

“The courts take such actions very seriously. It is not uncommon for people who are drunk on aircraft to be jailed. For that offence to be exacerbated by the threat of a terrorist act would mean that anyone convicted could expect immediate imprisonment.

“It is perfectly possible that somebody in the same position in Britain could receive summary justice in the same time-frame, although it is less common in this country because courts are required to obtain background information about the defendant before sentencing to immediate imprisonment.

“But pre-sentence reports are not mandatory, and if a defendant pleads guilty and there is no mitigation, then it is perfectly possible for justice to be served as quickly.”


http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article...530336,00.html

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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.


http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/...196739583.html
Airbubba is offline  
Old 3rd Jan 2003, 04:48
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With respect to the character of the poor chap, it might be a good idea to abstain from alcohol prior to flight. As the aircraft climbs the cabin altitude will also climb at a lower rate. Naturally the effects on the brain will be devastating. Definitely the judge did not consider this factor.
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Old 3rd Jan 2003, 07:52
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XXXX, pretty powerful brew! However a wan*er, nevertheless.
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Old 3rd Jan 2003, 09:19
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I couldn't give a flying phucque about the effects of an increasing cabin altitude on an intoxicated person in this type of situation. It's a shame it's a suspended sentence.

They say alcohol accentuates your personality. It's obvious that this guy was an a$$hole.
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Old 3rd Jan 2003, 09:38
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Am I alone in finding it depressing that a large number of British youngsters seem to intent on drinking themselves insensible at every opportunity?

It is bad enough in the UK but the image that they create abroad is a disgrace.

I have no doubt he is a nice lad but he received his just deserts.
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Old 3rd Jan 2003, 09:50
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excess alcohol

It is a pity that the ground staff were not sufficiently vigilant in the first place when they permitted him to check-in/ board.

This is the risk you run when you allow drunks to board aircraft.
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Old 3rd Jan 2003, 11:52
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Most interesting. On my flight to Australia 3 weeks ago, we had an Australian (of indeterminate sex, but dressed as a 27 yr old woman) go berserk. Slugging the male pax either side (with wine bottles), turning mobile phone on and refusing to turn it off, swearing, screaming, spitting, scratching at all in range (topped by exposing self and playing with said parts in the cabin), finally muttered bomb threat. 'Clapped in irons' followed by the above actions for 6 hours all night. Police attendance requested- took 25 minutes for them to turn out unenthusiastically- a previous QA flight had another one. Individual talked gently off after a further hour, crews nerves in tatters- they had been spat at full in the face with promises of AIDS! Hours of paperwork, Police interviews, statements for the Cabin Crew.

I understood this individual would have been bailed by the evening of arrival. I can appreciate that these days nobody in the Western world wants to take responsibility for deranged individuals and that is why the streets in every city are full of people who would be better off being detained in and looked after by various mental institutions, but when someones completely unrestrained and outrageous behaviour impinges on other peoples peace of mind and safety, then immediate detention is justified. I will be waiting to see how the Australian Authorities deal with this particular case, or is it easier to stamp down heavily on foreign tourists? Going to be interesting.

(I never did discover the final sexing of this individual, but it looked ostensibly like a fairly attractive female blonde. Imagine meeting that in a bar one evening and taking it home! Talk about Fatal Attraction! I am so glad I am married!)
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Old 3rd Jan 2003, 14:01
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Notso -
Back when Air NZ flew DC10s, they had a female (for some reason, my memory seems to think she may have been an F/A) suddenly become unhinged, get naked and start propositioning pax, high over the Pacific.
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Old 3rd Jan 2003, 15:01
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I've had 2 occasions when passengers have completely disrobed onboard. I've always put it down to my flying, but maybe the hypoxia does it to some people! I did hear that the best place to be during the incidents was on the Flight Deck!

Many years ago, a stewardess brought the largest pair of 'big' jockey pants onto the Flight Deck, found in the lavatory. I couldn't help wondering how someone could 'lose' apple catchers like that!
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Old 3rd Jan 2003, 15:58
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So, Mr Darling, at exactly WHICH point should the armed air marshal intervene? And which point should he consider deadly force?

This guy is a lout and a pr*t, but (probably) doesn't deserve to get shot!
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Old 3rd Jan 2003, 19:58
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GB- If all the Air Marshalls in all the world stop one group of armed suicide bombers taking over one aeroplane, they will have earned their dinner. I think they will know when their services should be used and when not! Apart from that, I would have thought they were better keeping quiet and leaving it to the crew. When did Air Marshalls come up anyway?
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Old 3rd Jan 2003, 23:48
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I tend to agree, I'm rapidly coming to the conclusion that they're a good idea when there is a specific threat to a particular flight (or group of flights). What worries me is that the project won't be done very well and we'll get gung-ho types offered the job.
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Old 4th Jan 2003, 09:42
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I really don't understand the reluctance to accept Sky Marshalls. People justify it by saying 'I don't want a full scale gun battle going on in the cabin'. Hello! It will be happening because there are armed nasty people on board who we can assume with a fair degree of reliability now want to exterminate all on board plus as many 'infidels' on the ground as possible! So what have you to lose by having someone armed on your side ? I would expect them not to leap into action for incidents such as the above otherwise they would give themselves away and would be drawn out too easily. But when they know they are needed for the sake of all aboard, I think they will know.
I don't recall the details, but a few months ago 2 Marshalls leapt into action on a US domestic and positively kept the cabin under control until landing. I remembered thinking maybe they had acted prematurely, but they were positive in their actions to subjugate a cabin under the circumstances of a possible terrorist action. I know if they end up firing their guns, the only alternative is death for all on board, and I would welcome their presence as long as it is necessary. I do not understand why BALPA has come out against them, and whilst the threat lasts, they'd better reconsider. It's all airy fairy saying 'better to stop them boarding in the first place'. Well time and again they are getting through, and they can get weapons through in a concerted campaign against a target. Rather than be head in the sand ostriches, I would rather there was someone armed on my side!
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Old 4th Jan 2003, 10:35
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Taildragger, to refresh your memory. The lady in question was an Air New Zealand F/A travelling off duty. Feeling very horny, I believe she found at least two willing samaritans to give her relief. A great advertising boost for ANZ followed shortly thereafter with something like " Fly Air New Zealand, an airline that really gives a fuc*!" I suppose the sheepskin covered leather seats might have been of help also.
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Old 4th Jan 2003, 22:58
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M.Mouse,

I would just like to ask as a well travelled person yourself have you not witnessed similar behaviour by other young people from countries other than the UK.

I certainly have in Florida and Cancun at Spring break,the Canary Islands invaded by young Brits,Germans,Scandies(do they like a drink at 75% less than at home)!!,the Greek Islands etc,etc.

This bloke was a complete idiot and deserved his sentence.If it teaches him a lesson and sends a clear message to others that this behaviour is not acceptable then the world will be a slightly better place.

However not every young person from the UK is like this,nor from any other part of the world and it's a fact we all mature in different ways and my mother still holds out hope for me...........

.....I'm nearly 40!!!

NJR.

www.worldairlinephotography.co.uk
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Old 4th Jan 2003, 23:59
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What's interesting about the young backpacker being binned is that both the prosecution and the defence argued that a non-custodial sentence was the most appropriate outcome. The beak (who I assume is a professional rather than a lay person) decided a deterrent was called for.
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Old 5th Jan 2003, 09:41
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Does it not strike anyone here as strange that the common denominator in most of these "passenger goes berserk" incidents is alcohol??? Certainly all the nasty incidents in which I have become involved on the ground have been alcohol or narcotic related.

Indeed, alcohol misuse is by far and away far more anti-social than cigarette smoking....yet the airlines (mostly) have only addressed the lesser evil. (only because it saves money on air change cycles and filter replacement - passenger comfort was a secondary consideration!)

Giving airline staff yellow cards(?), restraints etc is not the answer - take alcohol out of the equation altogether!

No, my friends, the airlines and airport authorities make far too much money from duty free sales for that to ever become reality!
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Old 6th Jan 2003, 04:09
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I will be waiting to see how the Australian Authorities deal with this particular case, or is it easier to stamp down heavily on foreign tourists? Going to be interesting.
Now there is an intelligent comment. What? You expect nothing to happen? I'd bet $1000 you're a Pom.
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