Vinnie Jones admits air rage assault

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The Independent Online

The actor and former footballer Vinnie Jones today pleaded guilty to an "air rage" incident.

The 38-year-old admitted charges of using threatening, abusive or insulting words and common assault on a male passenger. He was ordered to carry out 80 hours of community service and fined £800.

A charge of being drunk on board an aircraft was withdrawn by the prosecution.

Jones, from Wiggington, Tring, Herts, was travelling in the first-class cabin of a Virgin Atlantic plane from Heathrow to Tokyo when the incident took on June 1 this year.

The star of Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Snatch, and Mean Machine appeared at Uxbridge Magistrates Court in west London.

He was due to be sentenced later today.

Ms Gillian Travers, prosecuting, said Jones had been drinking in the first class area with a group of people.

Jones was drinking with a woman but as his behaviour "became more bullish" she returned to her seat.

The court heard that Jones became impatient and "put a plate of food in her lap".

Ms Travers explained that the former footballer wanted her to come back to the bar.

But when another passenger suggested to Jones that he should leave the woman alone he became aggressive.

Ms Travers said: "He became abusive, aggressive and physically violent. Mr Jones said 'I am going to have you, I am going to have you killed"'.

The court also heard a witness statement from one of the passengers aboard the plane.

He claimed to have seen Jones slapping Stephen Driscoll about the head.

The statement read: "He was hitting the passenger with his open hand."

Jones's record of bad behaviour on and off the pitch is legendary.

In 1995 he was reported to the FA for biting a journalist's nose in a bar in Dublin, leaving his face bloodied.

Early in his career he was hauled before the FA after reportedly threatening to rip off Kenny Dalglish's ear and then "spit in the hole".

In 1998 he was sentenced to 100 hours community service after being convicted of assaulting his neighbour.

He was ordered to pay £400 compensation to Timothy Gear after being found guilty of causing him actual bodily harm criminal damage to his mobile home.

Mr Gear said Jones had bitten, punched and kicked him after banging on the door of his mobile home in November 1997.

He told magistrates in St Alban's that after knocking him to the floor Jones had stamped on his head three or four times.

Among numerous violent incidents on the pitch Jones committed a tackle that left Tottenham's Gary Stevens with badly-damaged knee ligaments.

In 1989 he was sent off for head-butting Everton's Kevin Ratcliffe.

In January 1992 while playing for Chelsea he was fined £1,500 by the FA for making obscene gestures to fans before a match at Arsenal.

The same year he was fined a record £20,000 for his commentary in a video glorifying football violence and dirty tricks. He was also given a six-month ban, suspended for three years.

Most notoriously, he was caught on camera squeezing Paul Gascoigne's testicles during a match.

Earlier this year Jones, a former Wales captain, was accused of theft and assault on a man in South Africa.

He was also accused by three women of assault at a party in Cape Town while in South Africa working on the adventure movie Ultimatum.

Prosecutors dropped the case when the allegations were withdrawn.

Jones turned to acting at the end of his sporting career in 1998.

His first role was in Guy Ritchie's Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels in 1998, where he played a taciturn criminal.

He then headed for Hollywood, appearing in the car caper Gone in 60 Seconds, and Swordfish alongside Halle Berry and John Travolta.

He is currently appearing in an advertisement for Bacardi rum.