Boris Johnson 'disruptive' plane passenger admits mid-air assault

David Morris pleaded guilty to assault by beating and being drunk

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The Independent Online

A man has admitted assaulting a flight attendant on a plane from Malaysia - after being told to calm down by Boris Johnson.

David Morris, 43, was travelling first class from Kuala Lumpur to Heathrow when he drank five double whiskies, before launching a tirade against cabin crew, one of whom he head-butted.

The Mayor of London was also on board the flight on 3 December, having been on a high-profile trade trip to the Far East, when he tried to intervene in the air rage incident.

Izolda Switala-Gribbin, prosecuting, told Uxbridge Magistrates' Court: "On a flight from Kuala Lumpur, Mr Morris was in first class travelling to London.

"Mr Morris had consumed a large quantity of alcohol. He bought approximately five double whiskies during the flight.

"He became disruptive towards fellow passengers and began pacing up and down the aircraft and demanding more drinks.

"At some point he was told he would not be served any more alcohol and that's when he started swearing and his behaviour became a lot more disruptive.

"He was offered some water by a member of the cabin crew. While drinking the water he pulled back the glass and let go of the glass and tried to punch it. He missed it but nearly hit a member of staff in the process."

The court heard that alarmed staff attempted to restrain Morris but he turned violent.

Ms Switala-Gribbin said: "As the matter was escalating the captain at some point decided he would have to be restrained.

"Mr (Johari) Nordin was asked to assist in the restraining of the defendant and as he was trying to place plastic handcuffs on the defendant, the defendant head-butted him.

"He was shocked and sustained swelling to his upper lips.

"When Mr Morris was eventually restrained he kept on falling asleep and waking up and each time he woke up he would scream."

Morris, of Aldershot, pleaded guilty to assault by beating and being drunk.

The photograph taken by Eileen Burbidge

A photograph of the incident was captured by delegate Eileen Burbidge who praised the on-flight crew for their "professionalism" on Twitter.

The Mayor’s office said in a statement at the time: "The Mayor along with a number of other passengers and members of the cabin crew did make several attempts to calm the gentleman concerned but to no avail."

Additional reporting by Press Association