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