Singer jailed for air rage

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The Independent Online
THE ROCK star Ian Brown was yesterday jailed for four months for threatening to cut off the hands of a stewardess and hammering on the door of the cockpit as a plane came into land. Brown, 35, former singer with the Stone Roses, denied using threatening and abusive behaviour towards Christine Cooper and Captain Martin Drake on board the BA 1611 flight from Charles de Gaulle airport on 13 February.

But magistrates in Manchester convicted him after hearing Mrs Cooper had been terrified. Sentencing, the magistrate, Alan Frost, said: "The offence is so serious that only a custodial sentence is appropriate. The words that you used were threatening, abusive and insulting, resulting in the stewardess's extreme distress.

"Had the pilot not locked the cabin door, other passengers' safety might have been in jeopardy. A relatively small incident may have had catastrophic consequences." The court heard how Brown had been travelling with his entourage in the club class of the night flight when the stewardess mistakenly offered him duty-free.

Mrs Cooper said: "I realised I had made a mistake. I offered him an apology with an open- palm gesture. As we were about to continue I heard him shout: `Hey, you'. I looked back. He said: `Don't you wave your ... hands at me. I'll chop your ... hands off.' I was immediately shocked ... I apologised, but he kept up the abuse in a threatening way, pointing a finger with a menacing tone."

Mrs Cooper told Capt Drake, who approached the group. Brown told the bearded Capt Drake to "have a shave".

Brown approached the flight-deck door when the plane was coming in to land, and knocked repeatedly. Capt Drake radioed for help and Brown was arrested when the plane touched down.