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'Nut rage' heiress sentenced to one year in jail

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Cho Hyun-ah (C), also known as Heather Cho, daughter of chairman of Korean Air Lines Cho Yang-ho, is surrounded by the media as she leaves for a detention facility after a court ordered her to be detained, at the Seoul Western District Prosecutor's office. Photo: Reuters

Cho Hyun-ah (C), also known as Heather Cho, daughter of chairman of Korean Air Lines Cho Yang-ho, is surrounded by the media as she leaves for a detention facility after a court ordered her to be detained, at the Seoul Western District Prosecutor's office. Photo: Reuters

Cho Hyun-ah (C), also known as Heather Cho, daughter of chairman of Korean Air Lines Cho Yang-ho, is surrounded by the media as she leaves for a detention facility after a court ordered her to be detained, at the Seoul Western District Prosecutor's office. Photo: Reuters

The daughter of the chairman of Korean Air was sentenced to a year in prison yesterday after a judge found her guilty of obstructing aviation safety over an outburst over nuts.

Cho Hyun-ah was sitting in first class on a Korean Air flight in New York in December when she was served a packet of macadamia nuts in a bag and not on a plate. Cho (40) was so outraged that she forced the plane, which was taxiing along the runway to take off, back to the gate in order to have the chief steward removed.

Cho was a senior vice-president at the airline and in charge of cabin services. The eldest daughter of Cho Yang-ho, the chairman of Korean air, she avoided a maximum sentence of nine years.

Cho treated the flight as if it was her own private plane, judge Oh Seong-woo said during the ruling in a Korean court.

"The so-called 'nut rage' case trampled on the integrity of humanity," he said.

Witnesses said that on being served the nuts in the first-class cabin Cho shamed and insulted flight attendants by shouting, throwing a service manual and forcing them to kneel before her. The outcry led to the flight being delayed for 11 minutes while there was a change of staff. Cho faced five charges including intimidation, obstruction of business and obstruction of justice (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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