Pas­sen­ger taken off jet af­ter vodka binge

Glossop Advertiser - - News - Katie But­ler

AHOLIDAYMAKER who downed half a bot­tle of vodka on board a flight was so drunk po­lice had to re­move him from the plane.

Bradley Un­der­wood had bought the one-litre bot­tle from the air­port in Malaga for his son – but while on the short flight to Manch­ester he drank half of it.

The 58-year-old labourer re­mained in his own seat on the Jet 2 air­craft on July 28 but crew said he was ‘shout­ing’ – al­though he was not ag­gres­sive or abu­sive.

When pas­sen­gers were leav­ing the air­craft once it had landed, Un­der­wood was not re­spond­ing to flight at­ten­dants.

Pros­e­cut­ing at Manch­ester and Sal­ford Mag­is­trates’ Court on Tues­day, Kate Gaskell said: “The de­fen­dant was sat in his own al­lo­cated seat but was not re­spond­ing to re­quests from crew mem­bers.”

Po­lice were called on board and stated Un­der­wood was slumped in his seat and his speech was ‘slurred’. They said he was so in­tox­i­cated he was ‘strug­gling to walk’. He was then ar­rested. Un­der­wood, of Manch­ester Road, Au­den­shaw, pleaded guilty to be­ing drunk on a flight.

Mit­i­gat­ing, Daniel David said: “There was very lit­tle dis­tur­bance caused by this in­ci­dent and there was no vi­o­lence and he has shown full remorse for his ac­tions and has co-op­er­ated fully with the po­lice.”

He added he had bought the vodka for his son but de­cided to have a drink.

Mr David added: “He got on the plane and had a drink him­self and then he found he had drank more than ex­pected.”

Un­der­wood then fell asleep.

He said he was ex­tremely em­bar­rassed.

District Judge Mark Had­field said: “I ac­cept that when pas­sen­gers boarded the plane you caused no dif­fi­cul­ties for them.

“But some­thing had hap­pened on the plane be­cause the crew had asked for as­sis­tance from the po­lice.”

Un­der­wood was fined £200 and or­dered to pay costs of £85 and a vic­tim sur­charge of £30.

Judge Had­field added that pas­sen­gers ‘par­tak­ing in us­ing their own al­co­hol on board’ is cur­rently in the pub­lic eye.

Ar­rests for drink-re­lated of­fences at air­ports and on flights have risen dra­mat­i­cally.

A to­tal of 387 peo­ple sus­pected of be­ing un­der the in­flu­ence were ar­rested air­side be­tween Fe­bru­ary last year and Fe­bru­ary this year – up from 255 the pre­vi­ous year.

Ryanair is now call­ing for a ban on the amount of al­co­hol pas­sen­gers can con­sume be­fore flights to pre­vent chaos in the air.

It also wants to end the sale of al­co­hol be­fore 10am which would spell the death of the early morn­ing pre-flight pints but po­ten­tially lose air­port busi­nesses a sub­stan­tial amount of money.

Bradley Un­der­wood

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