The Star (Jamaica)
British woman fined for fighting on plane
Afemale British national who got into a fight with airline personnel while aboard a flight entering Jamaica on May 1 got a stern lecture and a combined $20,000 fine when she appeared in the St James Parish Court yesterday.
Sarah Jenkins, 37, of a London address in the United Kingdom, pleaded guilty to two counts of assault occasioning bodily harm.
The facts are that on May 1, Jenkins was a passenger in the firstclass section of a Virgin Atlantic flight destined for Jamaica when she got into an argument with her husband with whom she was travelling.
Members of the flight crew asked Jenkins to calm down and attempted to relocate her to another section of the aircraft. However, Jenkins resisted and hit some of the personnel in their faces and on their legs. She also bit some of them.
During Jenkins’ sentencing hearing, her attorney, Michael Hemmings, asked presiding parish judge Sasha Ashley for leniency. He said that the defendant had no previous convictions and had been drinking.
“This is her first time in Jamaica, and her mood is one of remorse, plus she is certainly apologetic about her actions on the aircraft. Before travelling, she took antidepressants, and she consumed more than three glasses of champagne and wine ... It is a lesson learned that if you have these medications to take, one should not mix the medications with alcohol,” said Hemmings.
“She does not have the propensity to create future harm. She is extremely sorry, and has been crying since Sunday (May 1),” Hemmings added.
But in passing sentence, Judge Ashley scolded Jenkins for her actions which led to her arrest.
“It is unfortunate that what should have been the start of a beautiful getaway was marred by your own actions. As much as your attorney has given an explanation, what it is not is a reasonable excuse ... You brought disgrace, not only on your husband but on the airline and on the other passengers,” said Judge Ashley.
Jenkins was subsequently ordered to pay a fine of $10,000 or spend 30 days in prison on each of the two counts of assault. The custodial sentences are to run concurrently if the fines are not paid.