Un­ruly Bri­tish pas­sen­ger or­dered to pay West­Jet’s $21,000 fuel bill

PressReader - BRUCE_CAROL_ROWE Channel - Un­ruly Bri­tish pas­sen­ger or­dered to pay West­Jet’s $21,000 fuel bill
The un­ruly Brit whose an­tics forced a Lon­don-bound West­Jet flight to re­turn to Cal­gary must pay the air­line more than $21,000, a judge ruled Tues­day.Pro­vin­cial court Judge Brian Steven­son said if the Cal­gary-based air­line wishes to re­cu­per­ate any fur­ther dam­ages, it will have to take David Stephen Young to civil court.Steven­son said the $21,260.68 resti­tu­tion or­der he im­posed on Young rep­re­sents the cost of fuel West­Jet lost when it rerouted the Jan. 4 flight back to Cal­gary.Young, 44, pleaded guilty last week to charges un­der the Aero­nau­tics Act and the Crim­i­nal Code in con­nec­tion with his con­duct on the flight and upon his ar­rest at Cal­gary In­ter­na­tional Air­port.The U.K. na­tive be­came un­ruly shortly af­ter the flight took off, when he got up to use a lava­tory while the seat belt signs were still on. A flight at­ten­dant told him to re­turn to his seat and, while he did, Young got up again and forced his way into a locked wash­room while it was un­safe to do so.He was also bel­liger­ent with flight staff and a pas­sen­ger, caus­ing them to fear for their safety, Steven­son noted.Be­cause the plane was fully loaded with jet fuel, the pi­lot had to dump 20,000 pounds of fuel and then fly around at dif­fer­ent al­ti­tudes for 45 min­utes to burn enough to safely land.At that, the air­plane still had 2,000 more pounds of fuel than its max­i­mum safe land­ing amount, the judge noted.Steven­son said the resti­tu­tion or­der, which West­Jet can try to en- force in civil court ei­ther here or in the U.K., was needed to com­pen­sate the air­line for some of its losses.“But also to send a mes­sage to the gen­eral pub­lic about what will hap­pen if they break the law in a sim­i­lar fash­ion,” he said.He agreed with Crown prose­cu­tor Lori Ibrus and de­fence coun­sel Michelle Parhar that the seven days Young spent in cus­tody at the Cal­gary Re­mand Cen­tre af­ter his ar­rest was ad­e­quate pu­n­ish­ment.When given credit for so-called dead time, the pu­n­ish­ment amounts to a 10-day jail term.Steven­son said there were both ag­gra­vat­ing and mit­i­gat­ing fac­tors to con­sider in com­ing to a fit pu­n­ish­ment for Young, in­clud­ing his prompt guilty plea and the me­dia at­ten­tion his case has re­ceived both here and in Bri­tain.Ibrus told the judge that Young will be sent back to his home­land in the next few days.On top of the fuel cost, West­Jet’s to­tal losses are ex­pected to ex­ceed $200,000 in pas­sen­ger com­pen­sa­tion, which it can seek from Young in a civil law­suit.

David Stephen Young

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