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Passenger arrested after assaulting cabin crew and using homophobic slur

Patrick Kelleher July 31, 2018

Andreas Rentz/Getty Images

 A 51-year-old woman who was going on a holiday with her daughter was arrested when the pair landed in Greece after her behaviour resulted in a flight from hell for staff and passengers.

Helen Butcher had already been drinking when she boarded the TUI aircraft to the Greek island of Kos in June of last year, according to the Mirror.

Once on the plane, Butcher showed violent and aggressive behaviour to fellow passengers and to the cabin crew.

Shockingly, she even punched one of the stewards in the genitals, and said: “it doesn’t matter you’re gay anyway.”

Butcher was jailed for 21 weeks after admitting to two counts of assault by beating, being intoxicated on an aircraft and using threatening behaviour.

Butcher had allegedly already consumed half a bottle of wine during the car journey to Manchester Airport.

She then had two vodkas in the airport lounge and a gin and tonic at the start of the flight, and was later found to have a litre bottle of spirit in her bag – however her defence lawyer said that it had not been opened.

When a member of the crew brought a warning from the pilot to Butcher, she took hold of his face and repeatedly swore at him.

Police in Greece were then contacted and put on standby for when the plane landed, at which point Butcher was arrested.

Her lawyer said that Butcher had alcohol issues and also said that she had acknowledged that her behaviour was “appalling”.

“She apologises through me to the Thomson crew and to the passengers who were affected and understands that her behaviour was so bad that it passes the custodial threshold.”

Her defence went on to note that Butcher’s father had died of pancreatic cancer and she was using alcohol as a coping mechanism.

Sentencing Judge David Stockdale QC said that the woman was intoxicated before she boarded the plane, and said that her behaviour was distressing for passengers and crew.

“As the air steward moved his trolley on down the gangway you punched him to genitals and made offensive remarks to him telling him that he was in your way.

“You used offensive language to him and used homophobic language to him,” he added.

“It is behaviour such as yours that threatens people’s safety on an aircraft.

“The distress caused by drunken behaviour on a flight is all too obvious. That distress is intensified if cabin crew are assaulted. All those on board were put at risk.”

More: cabin crew, homophobic language, tui

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