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Friday, October 23, 1998 Published at 16:41 GMT 17:41 UK


Former Stone Roses singer jailed for air rage

Ian Brown: Threatened to chop a stewardess's hands off

Former Stone Roses singer Ian Brown has been jailed for four months for after being found guilty of using threatening behaviour towards an airline stewardess and captain on a flight from Paris.

The 35-year-old threatened stewardess Christine Cooper and hammered on the cockpit door as the British Airways flight began its descent into Manchester Airport in February.

Ms Cooper had told magistrates in Manchester how he had threatened to chop her hands off after she mistakenly offered him duty free.

Brown denied using threatening and abusive behaviour towards Ms Cooper and Captain Martin Drake on board the BA 1611 flight from Charles De Gaulles airport on February 13.

Stewardess terrified by Brown

But magistrates convicted him after hearing how Ms Cooper had been terrified by his behaviour.

She had been offering drinks to customers when she thought Brown had gestured to her. But then she realised he had simply been putting something into his pocket.

She told the court on Thursday: "I realised I had made a mistake, and I offered him an apology with an open palm gesture. As I was about to continue, I heard him shout: 'Hey you'."

She said he told her not to wave at him, or he would chop her hands off.

"I was immediately shocked at the response I got from doing nothing wrong. I apologised but he kept up the abuse in a threatening way, pointing a finger with a menacing tone. I was terrified ... it was an individual threat to me."

She said he threatened her four or five times.

When Captain Drake intervened, the court was told that Brown said: "If she points at me again I'll chop her hands off."

Banging on flight deck door

He later approached the flight deck and started banging on the door for 20 or 30 seconds.

But Brown insisted he was only joking when he said he would chop her hands off.

He said thought she had made a dismissive gesture towards him.

"She waved her hand in what I considered to be a dismissive fashion. As a result I said: 'Don't wave your hand at me like that.' To which she replied: 'I am sorry.' To which I smiled and said sorry's OK.

"She then said: 'I apologise.' I said apologies are OK. As a side joke I said: 'If you do it again I'll chop it off.'

"She smiled at me and tutted and carried on pushing the trolley," he said.

He also denied using abusive language to Ms Cooper, and claimed Captain Drake tried to provoke him when he intervened.

He was arrested when the plane landed.

Manchester scene

Now a solo artist with hits like My Star, Brown was briefly one of Britain's biggest rock stars when the Stone Roses were at their peak in the Manchester scene of the late 1980s and early 1990s.

But after taking five years to record a follow-up to their eponymous debut album, the group split in acrimony in 1996.

But even now the group's sound is still an inspiration to a generation of new bands.

Brown was due to tour the UK next month.

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