Plane yob faces jail af­ter kill threats

Runcorn & Widnes Weekly News - - Yourviews - BY AN­DREW BARDSLEY

ADRUNKEN foul mouthed yob with a ‘face full of rage’ put pas­sen­gers on a flight to Manch­ester at risk when he launched an ag­gres­sive tirade against cabin crew af­ter a trip to Am­s­ter­dam.

Lance Wheel­wright, 33, of Whis­ton, was told he faces jail af­ter ap­pear­ing in court fol­low­ing the in­ci­dent, which a judge said put safety on board the plane at risk.

Manch­ester mag­is­trates court heard that Wheel­wright was trav­el­ling on a Flybe flight from Am­s­ter­dam to Manch­ester on Novem­ber 10 last year.

As the plane was land­ing, se­cu­rity had to be alerted when Wheel­wright, who was said to be heav­ily in­tox­i­cated, was abu­sive to cabin crew mem­ber Cather­ine Singer, af­ter be­ing told he couldn’t have eight cans of Stella. He called her a ‘fat bitch’ and then a ‘f****** bitch’ and staff said it was ‘kick­ing off’.

The court was told Ms Singer was up­set and had to com­pose her­self.

Wheel­wright apol­o­gised, ad­mit­ting he had ‘be­haved like a d***’ but his be­hav­iour con­tin­ued.

Wheel­wright’s be­hav­iour, de­scribed as ‘loud’ and ‘lairy’ es­ca­lated when the plane came to land at Manch­ester Air­port, pros­e­cu­tor Kate Gaskell said.

A pas­sen­ger, Cal­lum Craig, asked him to calm down but Wheel­wright replied: ‘ Mind your own busi­ness c***’. He then called Mr Craig a ‘fat Aus­tralian c***’, be­fore adding: “I have got the world with me you c***”.

Mr Craig said he was scared and felt in­tim­i­dated.

As he tried to leave the plane he ag­gres­sively pushed past cabin crew and shoved Ms Singer, say­ing: “Get out of my way you fat bitch’.

He then threat­ened to kill an­other mem­ber of the cabin crew, Lois Hughes. He said: “I’m go­ing to kill her. “I will wait out­side Manch­ester Air­port for you you f****** bitch whore”.

Cabin crew de­scribed Wheel­wright has be­ing like a ‘man possessed’ and that he had a ‘face full of rage’.

In a vic­tim im­pact state­ment Ms Singer, said: “In 16 years I have dealt with drunken and dis­rup­tive pas­sen­gers.

“What I ex­pe­ri­enced on this oc­ca­sion was the first time I have ever been spo­ken to in this man­ner or been phys­i­cally as­saulted.”

She added that there would have been ‘ dev­as­tat­ing con­se­quences’ if the plane was in the air at the time.

An­other mem­ber of cabin crew said: “I feel I don’t want to come back to work to­mor­row.”

The court heard that Wheel­wright now ac­cepts his be­hav­iour was ‘ab­so­lutely hor­ren­dous’, and he is ‘ut­terly dis­gusted’ with him­self.

He wants to apol­o­gise to the cabin crew and other pas­sen­gers, the court heard.

District judge Sam Goozee ad­journed the case for sen­tenc­ing to Min­shull Street Crown Court on Fe­bru­ary 2, but warned Wheel­wright he faces prison.

Ad­dress­ing Wheel­wright, the judge said: “There is clear ev­i­dence your be­hav­iour started dur­ing the land­ing process and caused the cabin crew to be dis­tracted from their re­spon­si­bil­i­ties for the safety of the air­craft.

“You should ex­pect to re­ceive an im­me­di­ate cus­to­dial sen­tence.”

Wheel­wright, of Whis­ton, Mersey­side, pleaded guilty to one count of as­sault, one count of us­ing threat­en­ing words or be­hav­iour and one count of us­ing racially ag­gra­vated threat­en­ing words or be­hav­iour. ●

Lance Wheel­wright out­side Manch­ester Mag­is­trates Court

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