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Friday, 28 June, 2002, 11:30 GMT 12:30 UK
'Air rage' woman jailed
Charlotte Davies
Charlotte Davies had downed rum and blackcurrent
A Sunderland woman has been jailed for four months for being drunk on an aircraft.

Charlotte Davies, 31, was on a holiday flight from Newcastle to Tenerife when the pilot diverted to Portugal after she swore and was abusive to other passengers and crew.

Armed police arrested Davies when the JMC charter flight landed at Faro Airport in November 2001.

A spokesman for JMC said the decision to jail Ms Davies was 'exactly right'.

Charlotte Davies
The defence argued she had a dread of flying

The care worker boarded the early morning JMC flight at Newcastle after drinking a mixture of rum and blackcurrant cordial.

There were 200 passengers and seven crew on board the Boeing 757.

Newcastle Crown Court heard how shortly into the flight, Miss Davies started shouting and swearing at her boyfriend and then started kicking the back of a seat.

She refused to calm down.

The pilot diverted the flight to Faro in Portugal where Miss Davies was led away by armed police.

Drinking heavily

The court was told Davies had a "dread" of flying and had been drinking heavily to overcome her fear.

Judge Michael Taylor told Davies he had no option but to impose a prison sentence.

"It gives me no pleasure to have to deal with you.

"This sort of behaviour causes fear and terror now on aircraft.

"You must know that it has been talked about for many months."

The pilots' union said the prison sentence sent out the "right signals."

'Trouble-makers'

Mick Brade, an official with the British Airline Pilots' Association (Balpa), said: "All too often in the past sentencing has taken the form of a slap on the wrist and a punitive fine.

"With the busy season upon us the last thing passengers or we want is increasing numbers of disruptive passengers.

"We hope this sentence will make potential trouble-makers think twice."

JMC Airlines spokesman Shaun Robinson said: "We welcome the sentence and the clear message it conveys to the small minority of passengers whose disruptive behaviour can threaten the operational safety of an aircraft and be a cause of distress to other passengers.

"We thank the police at Newcastle Airport for their ongoing support and reiterate our policy to take a tough line against offenders by continuing to place a high priority on the safety and comfort of our passengers, aircraft and crew."

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The BBC's Emma Howard
"Her screaming and shouting soon turned into kicking"
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09 Nov 01 | Scotland
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