Air Rage: Passenger jailed for drunken rant on flight from Phoenix to London
Published 23/09/2011 | 14:40
An American businessman who drunkenly launched a foul-mouthed rant at staff on a British Airways flight was jailed for three months today.
Mortgage consultant Timothy Bradley was told by a judge at London's Isleworth Crown Court that his behaviour on the aircraft had been "foul".
He flew into a rage after staff on a BA flight from Phoenix to London refused to serve him more alcohol.
Judge Richard McGregor-Johnson said: "You were thoroughly abusive, threatening, making foul remarks to a number of people and Mr (John) Manson (head of cabin crew) quite plainly thought that he was about to be attacked."
The court heard that Bradley had been drinking with friends before boarding the flight in Phoenix, Arizona.
He had beers and bourbon cocktails and continued to drink alcohol once aboard the flight to Heathrow.
Bradley began chatting up a female cabin crew member in the business class section of the plane, Charlotte Howell, who felt uneasy and was replaced by a male colleague, Stuart Williams.
When Mr Williams refused to serve the businessman any more alcoholic drinks, Bradley said: "Who the f*** are you to judge me? You don't f****** know me, how old are you?"
Bradley had been repeatedly swearing and was playing loud music on his laptop, the court was told, ignoring requests to turn it down.
Mr Manson was brought in to try to calm the situation, but said Bradley was immediately aggressive and the American was so close to him that spit ended up on his clothes.
He asked the crew manager: "Do you think I'm going to stab the pilot?", and when Mr Manson accompanied the drunken passenger to the toilet Bradley said: "Do you want to hold my dick?"
He was arrested when the plane landed on August 20, and today was jailed for three months for being drunk on a plane and one month to run concurrently for common assault.
Bradley had previously admitted both offences.
Judge McGregor-Johnson said: "This happened on an aircraft in a confined space and caused, I've no doubt, fear and distress to others who of course could not escape from you."
The court was told that smartly-dressed Bradley, whose parents sat in the public gallery, was "totally and utterly ashamed" of his behaviour.
He was excited about coming to Europe for his first holiday in five years, and the drunken outburst was utterly "out of character".
Bradley had told Ms Howell "I love you" only when she brought him a glass of champagne, and denied having told her that she was "so sexy".
A spokesman for British Airways said: "We will not tolerate abusive behaviour towards our staff or customers.
"Although our crew are highly trained to deal with such situations on board, we will always look to support prosecutions where appropriate.
"We are pleased that the court has recognised the seriousness of this incident."
Staff on the flight had restraints ready for Bradley in case he turned violent, the court heard, and when he was given a written warning about his behaviour he screwed it up and threw it away.
After being arrested and charged, Bradley, who runs his own company in the US, pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity, the judge said.