Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education



Front Page

World

UK

UK Politics

Business

Sci/Tech

Health

Education

Sport

Entertainment

Talking Point
On Air
Feedback
Low Graphics
Help

Sunday, November 1, 1998 Published at 19:00 GMT


UK

Air hostess hits back at bottle attacker

Fiona Weir: I was just trying to do my job

The air hostess attacked with a vodka bottle by a violent passenger has hit out at his accusations that she had aggravated him.

She said: "I am deeply upset and angry about everything he has been saying.

"I was just trying to do my job."


The BBC's Chris West: "Steven Handy didn't like the way the stewardess spoke to him"
Newly wed Fiona Weir, 31, needed 18 stitches after being hit over the head by Steven Handy, of Dover, Kent, on a flight from Gatwick to Malaga on Thursday.

Unemployed Mr Handy, 37, who was released from custody and conditionally bailed by a Malaga court on charges of endangering an aircraft and assault, blamed his behaviour on the air hostess.


[ image: Steven Handy: Released on bail]
Steven Handy: Released on bail
Emerging from the court missing a shoe and dressed in a dirty tracksuit he said: "She asked me to sit down but I didn't like the way she said it. She was aggressive so I did her.

"If someone starts on me I'll go for them, even if it's a woman."

Scottish-born Ms Weir, of Wimbledon, south-west London, arrived home from Spain on Sunday "in agony" after an operation to have a piece of glass embedded in her head removed.


Fiona Weir: This man will not intimidate me
She said that as soon as the flight left, she knew Mr Handy would cause trouble.

Mr Handy had been drinking and he immediately broke airline rules by smoking in the toilets.

It was only when she threatened to tell Spanish police of his behaviour that he attacked her with a vodka bottle.


[ image: Four passengers pinned the attacker to the ground at Malaga]
Four passengers pinned the attacker to the ground at Malaga
As she described the moment she was hit, Ms Weir broke down in tears and said: "I am sorry, I am still shocked.

"Everything seemed to happen in slow motion.

"I remember, he had a vicious look in his eyes.

"He raised the bottle and hit me across my head, I was stunned and fell to the floor.

"I was screaming for my colleague to help. He continued to bash the bottle across my back. I thought he was going to kill me."

The pilot radioed police in Malaga and asked them to arrest the passenger on arrival.

Four passengers leapt on Mr Handy as Ms Weir staggered down the steps and collapsed on the Tarmac at Malaga Airport.

Despite her ordeal, Ms Weir vowed to carry on working as an air stewardess.

"I need some time off work. I love my job and I'm not going to let this man intimidate me."


BBC Madrid Correspondent Daniel Schweimler: "Fiona Weir needed 18 stitches to her back and arms"
Airtours was joined by Virgin Atlantic in banning Mr Handy for life from travelling on any of their flights.

Richard Branson, the owner of Virgin Atlantic says he wants to compile a worldwide database of offenders.

The attack came in the week that rock star Ian Brown was released on bail pending an appeal against his conviction and four-month sentence for using threatening behaviour on a flight.

The 35-year-old former Stone Roses frontman was jailed last week after magistrates in Manchester heard he told an air stewardess he would chop her hands off and banged on the flight deck door as the pilot brought the plane into land.





Advanced options | Search tips




Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©


UK Contents

Northern Ireland
Scotland
Wales
England

Relevant Stories

11 Sep 98 | UK
'Air rage' passenger arrested

04 Sep 98 | UK
Two 'air rage' passengers jailed

04 Sep 98 | UK
When air passengers fly into a rage

01 Sep 98 | UK
BA gives 'air rage' yellow card





Internet Links


British Airways

Ian Brown

Civil Aviation Authority


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




In this section

Next steps for peace

Blairs' surprise over baby

Bowled over by Lord's

Beef row 'compromise' under fire

Hamilton 'would sell mother'

Industry misses new trains target

From Sport
Quins fightback shocks Cardiff

From Business
Vodafone takeover battle heats up

IRA ceasefire challenge rejected

Thousands celebrate Asian culture

From Sport
Christie could get two-year ban

From Entertainment
Colleagues remember Compo

Mother pleads for baby's return

Toys withdrawn in E.coli health scare

From Health
Nurses role set to expand

Israeli PM's plane in accident

More lottery cash for grassroots

Pro-lifers plan shock launch

Double killer gets life

From Health
Cold 'cure' comes one step closer

From UK Politics
Straw on trial over jury reform

Tatchell calls for rights probe into Mugabe

Ex-spy stays out in the cold

From UK Politics
Blair warns Livingstone

From Health
Smear equipment `misses cancers'

From Entertainment
Boyzone star gets in Christmas spirit

Fake bubbly warning

Murder jury hears dead girl's diary

From UK Politics
Germ warfare fiasco revealed

Blair babe triggers tabloid frenzy

Tourists shot by mistake

A new look for News Online