A man who was almost falling-over drunk when he ‘body slammed’ a flight attendant because she tried to stop him filming her has been found guilty of assault.
Patrick Walters, 48, was found guilty by a jury on Wednesday after a trial in the District Court of WA.
The altercation occurred on a three-hours delayed Qantas flight from Port Hedland to Brisbane in April 2017 as preparations for take-off were under way.
Walters attracted the attention of the cabin crew when they realised he was missing from his exit row seat.
A man who was almost falling-over drunk when he ‘body slammed’ a flight attendant because she tried to stop him filming her on his mobile phone has been found guilty of assault (stock image)
When he emerged from the toilet, the staff learnt he swapped seats with his colleague who was also missing from the flight.
His intoxicated colleague was found and attempted to board the plane but became argumentative, the court heard.
Flight attendant Karyn Dwyer spoke to the drunk colleague and Walters approached the conversation which he began to record on his mobile phone.
Ms Dwyer told him to stop filming two or three times and urged him to return to his seat but he ignored the requests.
She said she objected to him filming because she was wearing a government-issued Aviation Security Identification Card, which should not be made public by being put on social media.
She then reached for his phone and Walters pushed her backward.
Laura Norton, Ms Dwyer’s colleague, described the move as a ‘body-slam’.
‘She was being very direct. She was getting very agitated with him filming,’ Ms Norton said.
The incident unfolded on an April 2017 Qantas flight from Port Hedland to Brisbane
‘There was a struggle for the phone and then she was pushed up against the galley… with his full body weight on top of her.’
A passenger who witnessed the assault said Ms Dwyer was left shaking, pale and visibly in shock.
The two men were escorted from the plane.
Ms Dwyer required physiotherapy after she was left with shoulder pain and movement limitations.
Walters was bailed and ordered to pay a $5000 personal undertaking and $1000 surety.
Walters was ordered to surrender his passport and his banned going within one kilometre of the airport.
Judge Bruce Goetze warned he could face jail time.
Walters will be sentenced on Friday.