England

Drunk aeroplane passenger 'threatened to stab pilot'

Martin Johnson Image copyright Avon and Somerset Police
Image caption Johnson made threats to staff on the aeroplane and forced it to turn back to Bristol

A drunk aeroplane passenger who threatened to stab the pilot and everyone on board has been jailed for eight months.

Martin Johnson, 56, from Harlow, Essex, made the threats on an easyJet flight from Bristol to Malaga in April.

Bristol Crown Court heard he bought two bottles of duty free wine and drank one before boarding and the other on the aircraft.

The flight had to turn around and return to Bristol.

The court heard cabin crew found an empty wine bottle in the toilet and that someone had urinated all over the cubicle.

'Stab air hostess'

Johnson became abusive after they announced the flight would be returning to the departure city.

"If the pilot turns us around I am going to stab him and I am going to hit him," he said.

"I'm going to stab an air hostess and kill everybody on the plane."

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Johnson has been banned for life from flying with easyJet

Johnson, originally from Scotland, was arrested when the flight landed after it had turned back 25 minutes into its journey.

The court heard his behaviour caused disruption to many of the 153 passengers on board, whose holidays and travel were delayed, and it cost easyJet tens of thousands of pounds.

'Acted irresponsibly and idiotically'

Representing himself, he denied he had threatened to stab anybody and said he was not violent.

Sentencing him, Judge Michael Longman said his behaviour would have caused "fear and alarm" to passengers.

"The vast majority of aircraft passengers are sensible and law abiding and when people act irresponsibly and idiotically like you did, sentences of imprisonment will always be required.

"I take into account there was no physical violence although the oral threats were bad enough.

"In the circumstances there must be a sentence of immediate imprisonment."

Johnson, also known as James Kelly, has been given a lifetime easyJet ban.

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