Page last updated at 16:41 GMT, Tuesday, 31 March 2009 17:41 UK

Drunken air rage passenger jailed

Thomson 757 (library pic) AirTeamImages
Jackson was said to be "completely ashamed" about the drunken incident

A passenger has been jailed for eight months for a drunken air rage attack in a holiday jet flying at 32,000ft.

Gareth Jackson, 34, of Bedwas, Caerphilly, was tackled to the ground after he punched and kicked the plane's windows, Cardiff Crown Court heard.

Jackson drank 11 beers and a quarter of a litre of vodka in Sharm el-Sheik airport in Egypt before boarding a plane heading to Cardiff in June 2008.

He admitted being drunk and interfering with the crew of an aircraft.

The court heard that cabin crew on the Thomson holiday flight had tried to calm Jackson down before the captain authorised the use of restraints.

While Jackson was in the toilet, some male passengers agreed to help cabin crew restrain him.

They jumped on him as he left the toilet and restrained him with child seatbelts after he broke the plastic restraints first used to tie him down.

In all my years as cabin crew I've not encountered this behaviour
Nicola Ferguson, senior cabin crew member

Passenger Tracy Dennis said: "He was wildly flailing his arms around and narrowly missed hitting me in the face. I honestly thought the window would be broken and passengers would be sucked out. I was petrified of what was going to happen."

Jackson continued to shout during the flight, until his arrest at Cardiff airport.

Judge Neil Bidder said: "When passengers complained you swore and shouted at them. You continued to abuse cabin staff who refused to serve you alcohol. Your behaviour caused fear to passengers. It was a terrifying ordeal."

'Wholly exceptional'

In a statement read out to the court, Nicola Ferguson, a senior member of cabin crew, described Jackson as "totally out of control".

"In all my years as cabin crew I've not encountered this behaviour," she said in the statement.

Jeremy Jenkins, defending, said Jackson's wife had died in 2007 and it was the first time he had "let his hair down" on holiday since her death.

He said: "The effect of that death is at the heart of this. Having nursed her through a particularly difficult illness, surgery and all that followed, the defendant had a long and difficult period of mourning and convalescence."

Mr Jenkins said it was the first time Jackson had taken time off with his new partner and that he was completely ashamed to realise how much he had drunk.

"This was a wholly exceptional set of circumstances, completely uncharacteristic of the man now in the dock," Mr Jenkins said.

"These days, with the threat of terrorism and everything else, people who board flights - even on family holidays - have a heightened sense of anxiety."

Print Sponsor

Drunken air rage passenger jailed
05 Mar 09 |  Nottinghamshire
Greek police hold 'air rage pair'
18 Sep 06 |  Scotland

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2017 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific