Drunk plane passenger jailed after abusive behaviour forced diversion to Stansted Airport

PUBLISHED: 13:16 12 April 2019 | UPDATED: 13:25 12 April 2019

The plane was forced to divert to Stansted Airport due to the man's abusive behaviour. Picture: MARK DAVISON

The plane was forced to divert to Stansted Airport due to the man's abusive behaviour. Picture: MARK DAVISON


A man has been jailed for six months after his abusive behaviour on a flight caused the pilot to divert the plane to Stansted Airport.

Karl Begley, of Elmvale, Londonderry, appeared at Chelmsford Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday, April 10, having been charged with two public order offences, assault by beating and being drunk in an aircraft.

On the evening of Friday, March 8, it was reported that Mr Begley, 41, became repeatedly abusive to members of staff on a flight travelling from Alicante, Spain to Belfast, Northern Ireland.

He caused such a disturbance that the pilot had no alternative but to divert the flight to Stansted Airport, where he was arrested by Essex Police officers.

Karl Begley pleaded guilty to using threatening, abusive words or disorderly behaviour likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress; assault by beating, being drunk in an aircraft and using threatening, abusive or insulting words towards a member of aircraft crew.

He was sentenced to six months in prison, order to pay a victim surcharge of £115 and £85 in court costs.

Stansted Airport Commander Superintendent Richard Phillibrown said: “Mr Begleys behaviour on this flight was completely unacceptable.

“His actions put himself, the crew and other passengers in danger and this custodial sentence reflects just how serious these offences are.”

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