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Monday, November 2, 1998 Published at 13:58 GMT


Ex-Stone Roses star goes back to jail

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

A judge has sent rock star Ian Brown back to jail and warned that every unruly air passenger will be locked up - regardless of who they are.

Judge Simon Fawcus threw out the ex-Stone Roses frontman's appeal against his four-month prison term imposed by magistrates last month for threatening behaviour.

He said Brown, 35, who had threatened to chop of an air hostess's hands during a British Airways flight, was guilty of "disgraceful and loutish behaviour".

The judge's message comes as air safety groups call for a world-wide database of mid-air troublemakers following an attack on an air hostess with a vodka bottle.

As well as threatening stewardess Christine Cooper, Brown hammered on the cockpit door as flight BA1611 began its descent into Manchester Airport from Paris last February.

The star also swore at the aircraft captain, Martin Drake, 43, who also sits as a magistrate in Stockport, near Manchester.

At the appeal hearing at Manchester Crown Court, Judge Fawcus sitting with two magistrates said: "It was a quite disgraceful piece of behaviour.

"It has been said in the past behaviour of this loutish nature did not warrant a custodial sentence if carried out on the ground.

[ image: Brown: Under pressure]
Brown: Under pressure
"But it is very different when carried out on an aircraft. Many people can be put at risk by it - hundreds of passengers and even people on the ground if there is behaviour of this type.

"We accept this incident was wholly out of character but there is a another side to this picture and we want the message to be sent out to the public at large that anyone who behaves in this way aboard an aircraft will lose their liberty whoever they are."

Brown: I never did it

As he was led away by guards, Brown, said: "The captain told lies. The captain is a magistrate. I did not defend myself because I did not do it . I never did it."

Brown had served four days on his prison term before he was bailed last week. He will have to pay £250 costs for the appeal hearing.

Defence counsel Mr Paul Chambers said Brown had been in Paris for his first live performance as a solo artist and had little sleep before the incident took place.

"He was an individual pushed to the limit ... it grew entirely over a misunderstanding on his part.

Shock of jail immense

"He was annoyed at being approached by the stewardess on the aircraft and said: 'I'll chop your hands off' - a phrase that came from one of his earlier songs.

"He regrets his dreadful behaviour. It has had a major effect on his life. He spent the night in a police cell and four nights in prison. The shock of jail has been immense."

The court heard that Brown's US tour had been cancelled resulting in financial losses. The UK tour which is almost sold out and the Japan tour which begins in mid December is now under threat.

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