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‘Loutish’ couple who caused mid-air mayhem on 7.55am Thomas Cook flight to Tunisia are spared jail

A ‘loutish’ couple whose ‘loud, slurry and sweary’ drunken antics caused mid-air mayhem on a morning Thomas Cook flight to Tunisia have today been spared jail.

Gemma Heap, 35, and Philip Mycock, 38, were questioned by police after fellow holidaymakers complained about their behaviour during a flight from Manchester in July 2019.

The couple played childish pranks on other travellers, causing one passenger to switch seats after his hat was swiped from his head by Mycock, Manchester Crown Court heard.  

Mycock had tried on the hat and made jokes about it. He was also ordered to sit down by cabin crew after he used the toilet while the seat belt signs were on. 

The pair, who had been drinking ahead of the flight, apologised to passengers as they departed the Thomas Cook flight at Enfidha-Hammamet International Airport.

They were ordered to attend a police station on their return to Manchester.  

Gemma Heap, 35, and Philip Mycock, 38, (seen together) were questioned by police after fellow holidaymakers complained about their behaviour during a flight from Manchester

Pictured: Gemma Heap

Pictured: Philip Mycock

The couple played childish pranks on other travellers, causing one passenger to switch seats after his hat was swiped from his head by Mycock, Manchester Crown Court heard

Heap and Mycock, from Whitefield, Bury, admitted being drunk on an aircraft.  

The mother-of-four, who recently gave birth, was handed a four-month sentence suspended for a year. 

Mycock was sentenced to six months imprisonment suspended for 18 months.

The in-flight mayhem took place on July 29 as Heap and Mycock travelled from Manchester to Enfidha-Hammamet International Airport in Tunisia.   

Prosecutor Adam White said: ‘It was an early morning flight, due to depart at 7.55am and was busy, with passengers including tourists and families with children travelling, doubtless because it was the school holidays. 

‘The defendants first came to the attention of the crew manager, Nicola French, as they boarded the plane. 

‘She was at the door to welcome people on board and noticed immediately that they had been drinking and were affected by the consumption of alcohol.

‘They were in her words “polite”, though both clearly under the influence – in fact Mr Mycock told her he was a nervous flyer. He accepted to her that he had had a few drinks.

The pair, who had been drinking ahead of the flight, apologised to passengers as they departed the Thomas Cook flight at Enfidha-Hammamet International Airport

The pair, who had been drinking ahead of the flight, apologised to passengers as they departed the Thomas Cook flight at Enfidha-Hammamet International Airport

Heap and Mycock, from Whitefield, Bury, both admitted to being drunk on an aircraft

Heap and Mycock, from Whitefield, Bury, both admitted to being drunk on an aircraft

‘Despite this, she decided to still allow them to board the plane but once on the plane, concerns were very quickly raised by other members of the cabin crew.’

Crew member Shauna Mullaney noticed a ‘strong smell of alcohol’ as she passed by where the holidaymakers were sat, the court heard.    

Mr White said: ‘As they walked down the aisle to the back of the plane, they were also noticed by [another passenger] who knew straight away that they were both drunk. 

‘He could smell alcohol and they were loud, slurry and sweary when they talked and they were making him feel uncomfortable due to the presence of children on the flight.

‘There was then some chat between them and Mr Mycock took [a passenger’s] hat off at one point, putting it on himself and making jokes about it.

‘Before the plane took-off, Mr Mycock had to told to put his seat belt and just after the plane took off, he had to be told to sit down by cabin crew as he got up to use the toilets before it was safe to do so and began shouting.’   

The mother-of-four, who recently gave birth, was handed a four-month sentence suspended for a year. Mycock was sentenced to six months imprisonment suspended for 18 months

The mother-of-four, who recently gave birth, was handed a four-month sentence suspended for a year. Mycock was sentenced to six months imprisonment suspended for 18 months

Pictured: Mycock

Pictured: Heap

Sentencing the couple, Judge Mark Savill told them: ‘Unfortunately, both of you to different extents behaved disgracefully on this plane’

Crew manager Nicola French spoke to Heap and Mycock before they departed the plane, and Mycock ‘said he had had too much to drink’.

Mr White added: ‘It appeared to Ms French that both were still drunk. When the defendants were leaving the aircraft, they took it upon themselves to apologise to a number of the people they had upset. 

‘Mr Mycock blamed the alcohol he had drunk on his behaviour.’  

The pair were contacted at the end of August 2019 and invited to attend the police station two weeks later to be interviewed. 

They initially denied being drunk although they did admit to having had at least one alcoholic drink at the airport before boarding. They both said they were excited because of their holiday and accepted they ‘may have been loud.’

Sentencing the couple, Judge Mark Savill told them: ‘Unfortunately, both of you to different extents behaved disgracefully on this plane. 

‘It was a half term flight, full of parents and children looking forward to their holiday, and you ruined the start of everybody’s holiday by what was loud, swearing, loutish speech and behaviour and made an absolute nuisance of yourself on that plane.

‘It is unfortunate that you were allowed on it in the first place. All the warning signs were there that you were under the influence of drink.

‘At the end of the flight, you had sobered up and realised you how you had behaved. At least you had the decency to apologise to people before you left the aircraft but it was loutish, drunken behaviour.’

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