Vegas-bound stag party who drank, smoked and exposed themselves on plane, jailed

Captain forced to dump 10,000 gallons of fuel to safely land plane in Canada after four men harass passengers and cabin crew

Chiara Giordano
Wednesday 05 June 2019 09:39 BST
Vegas-bound stag party who, drank, smoked and exposed themselves on plane, jailed

A drunken stag party who exposed themselves to passengers, fought and threw bottles and water across the cabin of a flight bound for Las Vegas, have been jailed.

Construction boss Michael Ward, 33, and three of his friends caused havoc on the flight from Manchester were warned numerous times by cabin crew, who refused to serve them, a court heard.

But they carried on drinking large amounts of their own duty-free alcohol and smoking e-cigarettes on 24 March last year.

The crew warned them that the flight would be diverted if their behaviour continued as they were causing “considerable distress” to those around them, Manchester Crown Court heard.

But Ward told them: “You can’t tell me what to do. You are lower down the food chain from me. I am a 40K a year a builder. You are just an air hostess.”

As the men continued their intimidating behaviour, swearing and shouting at both staff and passengers, the captain decided it was no longer safe to continue the flight and diverted it to Winnipeg, in Canada.

As a result, the aircraft had to dump 10,000 gallons of fuel to land safely.

Once they touched down in Canada, the four were arrested by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Ward, Craig Hopwood, 35, and Scott Capper, all from Oldham, pleaded guilty to affray and being drunk on an aircraft an earlier hearing.

Daniel Howarth, 35, also of Oldham, pleaded guilty to section 4 public disorder and being drunk on an aircraft.

Ward, Hopwood and Capper were jailed for two years, while Howarth was locked up for one year and seven months.

Detective Constable Brad Howarth, of Greater Manchester Police’s airport team, said: “The actions of these four men were appalling.

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“Their behaviour was intimidating and frightening, for both the passengers unfortunate enough to be sitting near them, as well as the crew who made every possible attempt to reason with them as the flight continued. The group’s aggressive actions had no bounds, showing absolutely no consideration for the many children and families on board that had to endure their grossly unacceptable and offensive language and behaviour.

He added: “The cabin crew and captain, whilst carrying out their duties on a full aircraft, had to deal with an intimidating and disgracefully behaved group of men. Today, the drunken and loutish behaviour of these four men has resulted in a jail sentence; and I hope that this sends a clear message- anyone who thinks about acting the same on an aircraft will be met with the firmest police response upon their return to Manchester.”

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