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14 April 2009
By ANTHONY McLEAN
A DRUNKEN aircraft passenger who tried to headbutt security staff trying to remove him from the plane has been jailed.
Donald McDonald was drunk and aggressive when he grounded the 7.20am easyJet flight to Paris at Newcastle Airport by refusing to leave the plane after staff became concerned at his behaviour.
The 64-year-old swore and threatened members of the cabin crew before he was dragged off the plane by security staff, Newcastle Crown Court was told.
And when the plane could finally take off it was 40 minutes behind schedule, directly due to McDonald’s behaviour.
McDonald, of South Parade, Whitley Bay, was arrested and admitted a charge of drunkenness on board an aircraft in September 2007 and breach of bail.
He claimed he could not recall what had happened because he had taken a combination of alcohol and anti-depressants.
Mr Recorder Lodge jailed McDonald for three months, describing him as a ‘drunken lout’.
“I take into account in your favour that first of all you have pleaded guilty, albeit at a very late stage”, he said.
“Secondly and more important is that your demonstration of drunkenness and aggression did not take place when the aircraft was in the air.
“That is not necessarily a good reflection on you because you were drunk when you got on the plane and that was spotted by the staff and indeed the captain.
“It must be realised you caused a great deal of distress to other passengers on that flight and a great deal of distress to the cabin staff.
“Drunkenness on an aircraft is regarded as a very serious offence.”
Newcastle Crown Court was told the plane had more than 130 passengers and crew on board.
Thirty people had to leave the plane so McDonald could be removed safely.
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- Last Updated: 14 April 2009 9:02 AM
- Source: n/a
- Location: Whitley Bay