Kirsty Owen, 35, from Burton-upon-Trent, almost caused a Jamaican flight to Birmingham to be diverted to Iceland after getting into a drunken spat with another passenger over a spilt drink (pictured in Jamaica)
A holidaymaker almost caused a Jamaican flight to Birmingham to be diverted to Iceland after getting into a drunken spat with another passenger over a spilt drink.
Kirsty Owen downed nine vodkas, a glass of wine and a sleeping tablet during the nine-hour flight and became verbally and physically aggressive towards cabin crew and other passengers, a court heard.
Off-duty police failed to calm the two women, who ended up being held in restraints at the back of the plane.
Owen, 35, from Burton-upon-Trent, pleaded guilty at Birmingham Crown Court to being drunk on board a plane.
She was today sentenced to six months in jail, suspended for 18 months.
Harinderpal Dhami, prosecuting, said the incident happened on a Thomson Dreamliner flight from Jamaica to Birmingham on July 10 this year.
Half an hour into the flight, cabin crew started serving free drinks to passengers.
At about 2am they heard ‘a commotion’ and found Owen squabbling with another woman over a drink which had been spilt.
Mr Dhami said cabin crew managed to calm them both down and then the hot meal was served, after which Owen took a sleeping tablet and slept for an hour and a half.
But when she awoke at around 3.30am the blazing row between her and the other woman started up again.
Mr Dhami said: ‘Both women were using foul and abusive language, with every other word being an expletive.
‘An argument ensued with both women talking at the top of their voices and squaring up to each other.
‘A member of the cabin crew positioned himself between the two women to try and stop them, but they didn’t listen and carried on trading insults, and clenching their fists at each other.
‘At one point the other woman tried to punch the defendant, but missed.’
Also on board the plane were three off-duty police officers who tried helping cabin crew diffuse the row.
The 35-year-old got into an explosive drunken row on board a Thomson plane (pictured on her holiday in Jamaica)
But when this didn’t work both women were taken to the back of the plane and physically restrained in seats using the aircraft’s ‘restraint’ kits.
‘By now the captain had got involved and made an announcement over the tannoy that if they didn’t behave themselves, he would divert to Iceland,’ Mr Dhami said.
‘This did the trick and both women calmed down and the plane landed in Birmingham and they were arrested by police who were waiting for them.’
Rachel Pennington, defending, said her client felt ‘deep shame and remorse’ over the behaviour.
She said she was a nervous flier so had downed a vodka in the hotel before the flight, then had four double vodkas and a glass of wine, as well as taking a sleeping tablet.
She also said her client was ‘shocked’ to be appearing in court because the other woman involved in the fracas had been let off with a police caution, despite initially being charged with the same offence and summoned to appear before Birmingham magistrates.
Owen, 35, was today sentenced to six months in jail, suspended for 18 months (pictured in Jamaica)
The judge, Recorder John Edwards, sentenced Owen to six months in jail, suspended for 18 months.
He told her: ‘The safety of passengers on planes is absolutely paramount, so anyone who puts that in jeopardy should go to prison.
‘I was going to send you to prison, but when I found out what happened to the other woman involved in this incident I didn’t think it was right.
‘That’s why your sentence has been suspended.’