Air rage passenger jailed for 14 months
A drunk passenger who repeatedly abused staff on a Virgin flight from Gatwick to the Caribbean has been jailed.
The court heard how 36-year-old Uche Ezedinma had to be physically restrained due to his verbally and physically aggressive behaviour.
He spat at a member of staff, punched the overhead storage bin, threatened other cabin crew and smoked in the toilet, breaking airline rules.
He was flying with his mum to St Lucia on January 28 last year, but less than half way into the flight the pilot opted to divert to the Azores so Ezedinma could be removed.
After he was taken off the plane by local officers, the remaining 247 passengers and 10 crew also had to disembark to allow the A330 to refuel.
The incident was reported to Sussex Police, but it was established after a lengthy enquiry process via Interpol that the Portuguese authorities had allowed Ezedinma, from Croydon in Surrey, to continue his journey after just two hours.
Gatwick Police subsequently presented a case to the Crown Prosecution Service, and Ezedinma was charged with being drunk in an aircraft and negligently acting in a manner likely to endanger an aircraft or any person therein.
He was sentenced at Lewes Crown Court to 14 months in prison and ordered to pay a £140 victim surcharge.
source: Travel Mole