Sunday 11 December 2016

University lecturer kicked off Ryanair flight for slapping woman and downing duty-free brandy in rowdy drunken incident

Published 16/10/2015 | 08:21

Leah Wild (Photo: Facebook)
Leah Wild (Photo: Facebook)

A lecturer at a top university has quit her job after she slapped a policewoman in the face during a drunken incident on a Ryanair flight.

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Mother-of-three Leah Wild (44), who taught sociology at the University of Bath, was kicked off the plane for being drunk.

The lecturer was on a Ryanair plane carrying 184 passengers to Far in Portugal when the plane was delayed on the tarmac at Bristol for three hours due to a strike by French air traffic controllers.

The court heard how Wild started downing duty free Jack Daniels and brandy during the delay.

She was sitting next to her friend Reuben Crowe (23). The court heard the pair knew each other but were not going on the same holiday.

The duo were described as being "clearly drunk" and were talking loudly and listening to loud music.

Cabin crew informed the captain of the loud noise and he gave them 10 minutes to calm down or they would have to be removed from the aircraft.

Police were called to the incident after the pair refused to calm down. Two female officers boarded the plane and told Wild and Crowe they would face arrest if they didn't calm down.

The court heard how one passenger left the plane after the pair began to shout and swear loudly.

The incident escalated when Crowe had to be restrained in his seat, handcuffed and arrested as Wild began guzzling from a bottle of brandy.

The prosecution told the court how a police officer grabbed Wild from behind and marched her towards the exit, before Wild slapped the officer in the face.

"When the policewoman asked what was wrong she was answered with abuse," prosecutor Neil Treharne told Bristol Crown Court.

"They were waving their arms around, tossing their heads, swearing and were clearly drunk.

Wild left her post as director of studies immediately after the incident in April of last year. She had been working at the university for more than 10 years.

Wild pleaded guilty to being drunk on a plane and assaulting a police officer. Crowe also admitted being drunk on a plane and obstructing a police officer.

The duo were each sentenced to four months in prison, suspended for 12 months, and ordered to complete 80 hours community work.

Wilde was ordered to pay£500 in compensation and Crowe was ordered to pay £250.

They were both banned from Bristol Airport for a year.

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