Air rage suspect back in Spain
Cahal Milmo is the chief reporter of The Independent and has been with the paper since 2000. He was born in London and previously worked at the Press Association news agency. He has reported on assignment at home and abroad, including Rwanda, Sudan and Burkina Faso, the phone hacking scandal and the London Olympics. In his spare time he is a keen runner and cyclist, and keeps an allotment.
Tuesday 24 November 1998
Steven Handy, 37, who is unemployed, arrived in Malaga yesterday afternoon with three companions. He was immediately arrested on suspicion of drug smuggling. Last month, Mr Handy allegedly attacked Fiona Weir with a vodka bottle.
Diplomatic sources confirmed that Mr Handy, from Dover, Kent, was detained along with his companions at Malaga after an anonymous tip-off to the Spanish authorities. All werereleased without charge.
A spokesman for the British embassy in Madrid said: "Mr Handy was arrested along with three travelling companions following an anonymous tip-off ahead of their arrival. They were detained on suspicion of carrying illegal drugs and searched. After the search proved negative, they were released and no further action will be taken."
Mr Handy is believed to have made the journey to Malaga after he returned to Britain following the alleged assault on Ms Weir, from Wimbledon, south-east London, which left her needing 18 stitches.
He is accused of launching a sustained attack on the flight attendant after a three-hour drinking binge on an Airtours holiday flight from Gatwick to Malaga on 30 October.
His victim, who was left scarred by the attack, said she had feared for her life as a broken vodka bottle was repeatedly raked along her back and arms.
Mr Handy faces a charge under Spain's Air Navigation Act of endangering an aircraft and assault occasioning actual bodily harm. He was banned from British airlines, ferry companies and Eurotunnel after the incident.
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