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Vegas-bound stag party who abused crew and exposed themselves on plane, jailed

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Vegas-bound stag party who abused crew and exposed themselves on plane, jailed

Old 5th Jun 2019, 04:44
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Vegas-bound stag party who abused crew and exposed themselves on plane, jailed


Appropriate sentences?

A drunken stag party who exposed themselves to passengers, fought and threw bottles and water across the cabin of a flight bound for Las Vegas, have been jailed.

Construction boss Michael Ward, 33, and three of his friends caused havoc on the flight from Manchester were warned numerous times by cabin crew, who refused to serve them, a court heard.

But they carried on drinking large amounts of their own duty-free alcohol and smoking e-cigarettes on 24 March last year.

The crew warned them that the flight would be diverted if their behaviour continued as they were causing “considerable distress” to those around them, Manchester Crown Court heard.

But Ward told them: “You can’t tell me what to do. You are lower down the food chain from me. I am a 40K a year a builder. You are just an air hostess.”

As the men continued their intimidating behaviour, swearing and shouting at both staff and passengers, the captain decided it was no longer safe to continue the flight and diverted it to Winnipeg, in Canada.

As a result, the aircraft had to dump 10,000 gallons of fuel to land safely.

Once they touched down in Canada, the four were arrested by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Ward, Craig Hopwood, 35, and Scott Capper, all from Oldham, pleaded guilty to affray and being drunk on an aircraft an earlier hearing.

Daniel Howarth, 35, also of Oldham, pleaded guilty to section 4 public disorder and being drunk on an aircraft.

Ward, Hopwood and Capper were jailed for two years, while Howarth was locked up for one year and seven months.

Detective Constable Brad Howarth, of Greater Manchester Police’s airport team, said: “The actions of these four men were appalling.

“Their behaviour was intimidating and frightening, for both the passengers unfortunate enough to be sitting near them, as well as the crew who made every possible attempt to reason with them as the flight continued. The group’s aggressive actions had no bounds, showing absolutely no consideration for the many children and families on board that had to endure their grossly unacceptable and offensive language and behaviour.

He added: “The cabin crew and captain, whilst carrying out their duties on a full aircraft, had to deal with an intimidating and disgracefully behaved group of men. Today, the drunken and loutish behaviour of these four men has resulted in a jail sentence; and I hope that this sends a clear message- anyone who thinks about acting the same on an aircraft will be met with the firmest police response upon their return to Manchester.”

Last edited by Senior Pilot; 5th Jun 2019 at 06:09. Reason: Add quote so PPRuNers know what you’re talking about
PerPurumTonantes is offline  
Old 5th Jun 2019, 04:49
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Should have been required to pay compensation as well
ZFT is offline  
Old 5th Jun 2019, 04:56
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Appropriate: It will take these guys at least 2 years to grow up. And compensation for damages should go without saying.
thcrozier is offline  
Old 5th Jun 2019, 05:35
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So that is what, $50,000 bucks worth of fuel dumped? Not to mention the fuel used in takeoff and landing, plus crew wages and perhaps a landing fee. They are going to have to make a lot of license plates...
Water pilot is offline  
Old 5th Jun 2019, 05:46
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It begs the question why did the ground staff allow these characters to board in the first place if they were so drunk?
crewmeal is offline  
Old 5th Jun 2019, 07:13
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Yes it does beg the question. However Manchester ( and other airports in UK ) sell booze 24 hrs a day. And are therefore ( actions of these okey [email protected] higher up the food chain apart) partly culpable.
Globocnik is offline  
Old 5th Jun 2019, 07:49
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Well, 2 years will mean 1 year which is better than the early days of air rage prosecutions when things like 4 months were the norm. Is there an argument for ceiling cams in each cabin? Although every phone on the plane will come out as soon as anything happens.... I have always thought that duty free on arrival makes much more sense. It would prevent these clowns from dipping into their own supply, save weight, so fuel, less “blow up” stuff on board, etc. And based on recent events, less stuff for them to try and take down a slide.

I did an ORD once with a drunk guy, cops on arrival, cuffs, etc. He was 0.4!!! Not 0.04, but 0.4 which is about when you die. The Chicago cops were mystified that they could even walk him off the plane. He wasn’t violent, just went wee on someone thinking he was in the lav. Stupid maybe should get 4 months. Aggressive and/or violent should be at least a year. These maybe would do well with 2 years meaning 2 years.
bunk exceeder is offline  
Old 5th Jun 2019, 07:57
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I wonder if the bride to be has realised what she might have been marrying.
Denying boarding to people who are or appear to be drunk opens a legal minefield for staff and the airline.
Gove N.T. is offline  
Old 5th Jun 2019, 08:03
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Originally Posted by Globocnik View Post
Yes it does beg the question. However Manchester ( and other airports in UK ) sell booze 24 hrs a day. And are therefore ( actions of these okey [email protected] higher up the food chain apart) partly culpable.
Not in a airports jnterests aka profit to restrict sales of Anything. They just move the problem along.
sixchannel is online now  
Old 5th Jun 2019, 08:04
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Originally Posted by Gove N.T. View Post
Denying boarding to people who are or appear to be drunk opens a legal minefield for staff and the airline.

In most/many jurisdictions it is an offence to be drunk on board an aircraft.

I’ve certainly never encountered this “legal minefield” and I’ve been involved in managing a few offloads/denial of boarding due to it being obvious somebody was somewhat the worse for wear.

wiggy is offline  
Old 5th Jun 2019, 08:18
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some ground staff will board ANYthing, I had the mob in OMAA decade or so back, try to board a wheelchair passenger who was suffering from rigor mortis....yah he was dead, and was already cold to the touch
ironbutt57 is offline  
Old 5th Jun 2019, 11:41
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Is there any evidence in the UK of contract ground handling staff denying boarding to anyone under suspicion of intoxication or antisocial behaviour? They seem very good at tagging laptop and handbags to be put under the seat while letting outsized looking bags reach the cabin so the crew can argue with the pax onboard when there's no room in the overhead bins etc. I know what the guidance was for unruly or disruptive behaviour at the gate when my airline employed our own check-in/gate staff but I imagine there may be more caution and restraint exercised by contract staff these days. I may be completely wrong but I do sense a lack of engagement from most at UK (and other) airports.
Reverserbucket is offline  
Old 5th Jun 2019, 12:01
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giving it the barry big bollocks with 40K a year. nice one.
AndoniP is offline  
Old 5th Jun 2019, 12:30
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Hoe does mounted police get onboard an aircraft?
procede is offline  
Old 5th Jun 2019, 15:07
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Had a bunch of drunk Swedes on a stag party to LAS once, causing general rudeness, demanding more booze because they paid for upgrade, trying to vape etc. The lead told them last chance or they'll be meet by cops and you'll spend your weekend in Las Vegas locked up. They finally fell asleep and when awoken on arrival apologized and went on their way. Walking out of the airport the groom ran up to us and explained he couldn't find his passport! Karma? Sorry man, if you hurry back to the gate you might still find the gate agent who can search the plane for it, good luck jerk.
cappt is offline  
Old 5th Jun 2019, 15:27
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Knowingly accepting drunken passengers on your plane is potentially putting all the other pax lives at risk in case of evacuation.
You,as captain,have final responsibility on whether to accept them.I take a very dim view,on this subject!
Its fair to say,I do work for a booze free airline,which helps...
Yaw String is offline  
Old 5th Jun 2019, 15:35
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We at a Northern UK friendly airline deny carriage on a regular basis, this is well managed at our own handling bases prior to the passengers even getting to the aeroplane. Odd ones slip through the net, it’s inevitable as booze takes a while to get into your system. You might have just downed a load of spirits as you pass the gate agent and be perfectly fine, 1/2 an hour later by the time everybody else has boarded and you are getting under way that alcohol has go into your system and you are now drunk.

As for the question - I think 2 years is fine, but they should be pursued by the airline for the costs incurred, again this is something that the Friendly Northern Airline actively does.
Johnny F@rt Pants is offline  
Old 5th Jun 2019, 15:42
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Just dropping them off in Winnipeg would be punishment enough for most people, even to the point of being considered cruel and unusual punishment.

The sentences are entirely appropriate. Compensation would also be entirely appropriate.
pants on fire... is offline  
Old 5th Jun 2019, 15:48
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Sounds like the sort of drink-fuelled anti-social behaviour that bedevils public spaces throughout the UK. It seems to be a peculiarly British problem - comparatively few people from other European countries go out with the specific intention of getting p*ssed (to use the local vernacular). Transport operators (not just airlines but train operators too) should take a much tougher line, and be given due backing by police and the courts. 'Just having a good time' doesn't cut it, as excuses go.
marconiphone is offline  
Old 5th Jun 2019, 15:54
  #20 (permalink)  
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That should've been a subject to discuss at Monsieur de Juniac's recent IATA conference. Stories like that appear at least weekly. How long and how severe an accident will it take for all airlines to ban alcohol onboard? What are they afraid of? That drunk idiots won't fly their airline? That's a big loss?

They forbade smoking on planes. Has anyone ever seen a smoker start "exposing" himself or harrassing passengers after he had a full pack of Marlboro? Yet, the substance that is KNOWN to cause aggressive behavior is still openly and legally sold or even served free onboard an aircraft in all tastes and flavors.
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