Passengers on a flight clapped and cheered as an ‘aggressive and threatening’ drunken man was dragged off an easyJet flight, a court heard.
Paul Brady, who had drank five pints before boarding, was tackled to the ground and arrested after being removed from the flight from Manchester to Copenhagen.
He had become ‘agitated and disruptive’ when he was told there was no more space for his bag in the overhead lockers.
Police were already on patrol as part of Operation Succinct, where uniformed officers are deployed in the terminal buildings in order to crack down on drunken and disruptive passengers during the peak holiday season.
They were called by easyJet cabin crew after Brady, 39, from Tameside, repeatedly swore at them. Officers eventually had to tackle him to the ground in the immigration hall and take him away in handcuffs.
Matthew Treece, prosecuting, told Manchester’s magistrates how the drama unfolded when Brady, who ‘smelt strongly of alcohol’ and his partner were last onto flight EZY1987 to the Danish capital Copenhagen. He said there was no space in the overhead lockers for their bags and he became aggressive when he was told they would have to be put into the hold.
He also had a bottle of vodka he had purchased from duty free and refused to hand it over when asked by the cabin manager. He was eventually told to collect his belongings and leave the flight, but refused and police were called.A PA announcement was put out saying departure would be delayed as it was unsafe to fly with Brady on board and the flight ‘broke out into applause’ Mr Treece said.
He added: “The other passengers had clearly had enough and were relieved when they were removed from the aircraft.” The court was told he continued to swear at officers as they tried to talk to his wife and as he was led off the aircraft and back into the terminal. Mr Treece said he kept turning his head, making officers fear he may swear of headbutt them and they eventually took him to the ground in the immigration hall with an immigration officer rushing to assist them. He was arrested and eventually handcuffed and put into a police van.
Brady’s partner was also removed from the flight but there were no problems with her behaviour and she was not arrested, Mr Treece added. Brady, of Medlock Street, Droylsden, pleaded guilty to being drunken on an aircraft and a public order offence of using threatening or abusive words or behaviour. Magistrates can only impose fines for the first offence and they said they believed this would be ‘insufficient’ so sent him to the crown court for sentence.The maximum sentence is two years in prison.
Nmandi Inegbu, defending said: “He recognises his behaviour was completely unacceptable and wholly inappropriate. “There is that fine balance between enjoying the start of your holiday and having too much to drink and your behaviour and demeanour becoming a problem and even a danger to yourself and others. “He says the flight was delayed and he and his wife and had had around five pints before getting onto the plane. “The issue then came when one of the attendants noticed him with the bottle of vodka. “There was some suggestion it was open and he had been drinking from it. He was trying to say he had the receipt and that they could see it had not been cracked but he was not articulating himself particularly well. “He recognises unfortunately this type of behaviour can spoil the whole holiday experience for other passengers.” “When he was charged he apologised in person to the officer.”