A Manchester United fan has been imprisoned for 20 months following a violent, drunken outburst on a Manchester-bound flight from Morocco in February. Adam Whittingham is said to have boarded while already drunk, continued to drink and then lashed out verbally and physically at crew and passengers.
A soccer fan has been imprisoned for 20 months as a consequence of a violent, drunken outburst that occurred on-board a Manchester-bound Ryanair flight from Morocco, The Daily Mail reports. During the February incident, Adam Whittingham punched a fellow traveler in the face and attacked the flight’s crew.
He is also have said to have bitten a police officer in the chest as he was being restrained upon landing.
According to court proceedings, Whittingham was noted to have appeared to be intoxicated and aggressive prior to boarding the flight. Describing the incident, prosecutor Brian Berlyne said that a nearby traveler, “…began talking to Mr Whittingham about the football as he noticed he was wearing a Manchester United shirt but Mr Whittingham began to act abusively and the passenger then sat three seats behind him.”
“Shortly after take off Mr Whittingham apologized but it was noted he had a bottle of whisky and was drinking straight from the bottle. As he drank more whiskey, he became louder and louder,” he added.
It is then alleged that Whittingham approached cabin crew for a glass, but was refused and told that he would need to wait until he was served. Whittingham then attempted to take the item from the trolley himself, but was admonished by the cabin crew supervisor for his actions.
Whittingham then pushed the supervisor in the face. Concerned, the crew member alerted the flight deck of the man’s behavior.
Whittingham became aggressive again after overhearing the exchange between the flight deck and the supervisor, who had noted that the 32-year-old was holding a bottle of whiskey. He was asked to put the bottle away and when a nearby traveler intervened, the situation escalated, with Whittingham becoming aggressive towards this passenger as well as a number of people seated around him.
He lashed out verbally and physically and is said to have punched a man in his face, causing him to lose a tooth. Footage of the incident can be seen here.
After the plane made its chaotic descent into Manchester, it is reported that the flight’s pilot rolled down the cockpit window and shouted for assistance. Police restrained Whittingham, who violently resisted arrest by punching, kicking and biting an officer on the chest.
Passing her sentence on Whittingham, Judge Tina Landale was quoted as saying, “Travelling on an aircraft places special duties on passengers to behave and a small incident can cause catastrophic consequences. Your behavior began at the start of the flight and over three and a half hours you assaulted a passenger sitting next to you, you abused and threatened the staff who were carrying out their duties and you were loud and obnoxious.”
“You were violent to a number of passengers and the stewards who are responsible for keeping the passengers safe…You caused fear and distress to the other passengers, they were trapped in a small area thousands of feet above ground,” she added, recommending “immediate custody” for Whittingham.
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