AIR RAGE ATTACK ANGERS JUDGE
An air hostess had to stand "spreadeagled"
against an aircraft door to stop a drunken, rampaging passenger
kicking it at 30,000 ft, a court was told yesterday.
Kevin Griggs went berserk, attacking staff
and head-butting passengers while other travellers on the flight
looked on in horror.
Barry Nelson, the second officer, had to
leave his seat on the flight deck, while attempting to land the
Continental Airlines DC10 at Gatwick, to help restrain Griggs
who was described as "out of control."
Griggs' rampage was ended only after a
passenger rugby-tackled him as he continued to lash out at the
door, Cambridge Crown Court was told.
Griggs, 24, of Barnsley, was seen returning
from the galley with a number of small bottles of alcohol and
later began flicking food and pellets at other travellers.
Samuel Scrivener, prosecuting, said "The
accused then put his face very close to that of the air hostess
in an intimidating manner and threatened to throw her from the
plane. When Griggs assaulted Mr Nelson as he tried to pacify
him she felt the plane and all the passengers were in very real
danger and did the only thing she could - put herself between
the man and the door."
Even when Griggs was eventually overpowered
by rugby player Duncan Grey and restrained by handcuffs he continued
to spit and hurl abuse. He was arrested by police when the plane
Griggs admitted endangering the safety
of an aircraft, affray and four charges of assault.
In sentencing Griggs for two years in jail, Judge Eamon Swift
said, "This was an unpardonable incident which endangered
the lives of all the passengers and was the direct result of
the accused's drunken behaviour."
In his defence his solicitor said that
it had been his first flight, he had just split up with his American
girlfriend and the offences were "very much out of character."