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Monday, February 1, 1999 Published at 17:56 GMT


I'm no criminal, says air rage singer

Unfinished judicial business: Ian Brown outside court in October

Former Stone Roses singer Ian Brown is still denying he committed the air rage crime that led to him spending two months in prison.

Brown was released on Christmas Eve after serving half of a four month sentence for using threatening behaviour towards an air stewardess and the captain of a flight from Paris to Manchester in February 1998.

Magistrates heard how he told the stewardess he would "chop her hands off" and how he banged on the door of the aircraft's cockpit.

'My mother's reading lies about me'

[ image: Brown spent most of his sentence at Strangeways prison in Manchester]
Brown spent most of his sentence at Strangeways prison in Manchester
He told music weekly NME: "I got put away from something that I never said. My mother's been reading lies about me. I didn't do it. I didn't swear at the woman, I didn't approach any cockpit.

"They claim I banged on the cockpit and charged me with endangering lives. I'm saying what they charged me with I didn't do."

At his trial he admitted telling British Airways stewardess Christine Cooper he would "chop her hands off" - but said it was meant as a joke. He also admitted tapping on the cockpit door, but it was to try to get the names of the crew to complain about their treatment of him.

Brown, who started his comeback by making a surprise appearance at a London concert by the group Unkle last month, had his appeal against the case thrown out in November after Judge Simon Fawcus said he was guilty of "disgraceful and loutish behaviour".

Last week he was banned by British Airways from all the company's flights.

Unhappy with press comments

He is angry with press coverage of the case - especially the music press, which he feels should have backed him.

"The NME and all these papers, they are supposed to be representing the youth which is anti-establishment and all, yet these papers are calling me a hooligan and such.

"They're taking the words of the captain of the plane and using them against me," he said.

Brown, who is nominated for best male artist in this month's Brit Awards, features on the new Unkle single Be There, which is released next week.

He cancelled a UK tour shortly before he was released, but is now working on a new album to follow his first solo release Unfinished Monkey Business. It has a working title of From The Inside.

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