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Monday, February 8, 1999 Published at 18:00 GMT


UK

Policemen in 'air rage' case

Alleged air rage after bingeing on gin and whiskey

Two policemen from West Yorkshire have appeared in court charged with being drunk on board an airliner.

Inspector David Perrett, 49, his son PC Richard Perrett, 26, and a friend, publican Peter Beck, 55, deny the charges.

The men are accused of becoming abusive after getting drunk on a packed Britannia Airways flight to Manchester after a golfing holiday in Orlando, Florida, last February.

'Loud and clear'

Ian Metcalfe, for the prosecution, described how the three men allegedly became abusive to other passengers who complained about the noise after the men had drunk more than a dozen gins and whiskeys.

The two police officers reportedly referred to fellow passengers Betty Bailey, 71, and 78-year-old Ellen Bartlett as "dykes".

Ms Bartlett said: "My husband hadn't been dead very long. We had been together 50 years and had four children. It just wasn't true."

Stephen Twist, defending, asked if the two women might not have misheard the word "bike" and suggested the men were having a conversation about motorcycles.

Ms Bartlett said that there was "no doubt" and it was "loud and clear" what the men had said.

The Full Monty

Ms Bailey also described how one of the men followed her to the lavatory and stared at her for at least five minutes.

"I think they were trying to intimidate us," she said.

Mr Metcalfe said the choice of The Full Monty as an in-flight film may have contributed to the defendants' mood, encouraging them to show off and use obscene language.

"Behaviour that in a more open area may simply be boorish can become distressing, even threatening for people who have no choice but to be in close proximity for a considerable length of time," he said.

The captain and two stewardesses eventually calmed the situation. The three men were met by police as they left the aircraft at Manchester.

The case continues.



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