Tourist guilty of brawling at 30,000ft

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The Independent Online

An Irish tourist was convicted of endangering a packed holiday flight yesterday after the court heard he had started a "bar-room brawl" at 38,000 feet.

An Irish tourist was convicted of endangering a packed holiday flight yesterday after the court heard he had started a "bar-room brawl" at 38,000 feet.

Patrick Connors was also found guilty of affray, along with his companion, Francis Coyle.

The three-week trial heard that "all hell broke loose" after Connors tried to attack a Jamaican passenger and Coyle joined in, forcing the captain to to divert the Jamaica-bound Airtours flight to expel the two and the other 10 members of their group at Norfolk, Virginia.

In court, one passenger had described them as "animals", who had been drunken, abusive and foul-mouthed.

Of the five who were eventually charged with related offences, only Connors and Coyle were convicted yesterday.

The jury at Hove Crown Court found Connors, 36, guilty of endangering an aircraft and affray. They cleared Coyle, 40, of the first charge but convicted him of affray.

Both men were remanded in custody before sentencing on 11 August.

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