Drunk woman downed wine on flight and refused to wear mask before slapping officer at Heathrow, court hears

Passenger was asked 15 times to put on a mask

<p>The incident occurred onboard Finnair’s Christmas Eve flight to London</p>

The incident occurred onboard Finnair’s Christmas Eve flight to London

A woman caused havoc on a flight from Helsinki to London by downing mini bottles of wine, refusing to wear a mask and ultimately hitting a police officer with a make-up bag, a court has heard.

Lotta Kemppinen, from Bristol, had allegedly been drinking before boarding the Finnair flight to London on Christmas Eve.

Cabin crew told the jury how Ms Kemppinen badgered a fellow passenger, who asked to be moved, and ignored 15 requests to wear a face covering.

On arrival at London Heathrow, she then hit the police officer – who boarded the plane to remove her – with a make-up bag, before slapping him.

Ms Kemppinen was instructed to pay £1,450 for being drunk on an aircraft, including compensation to PC Manesh Patel, following the evidence given at Isleworth Crown Court.

Prosecutor James O’Connell said: “About 20 minutes into the flight the crew became aware of the defendant who was sitting in seat 11A because another passenger asked to be moved because the defendant appeared to be drunk and was bothering the passenger.

“The defendant was then asking if she could have some more wine. She’d already been given two small bottles of wine.

“For one hour and 20 minutes of the two-hour flight they were distracted by having to pay attention and deal with the defendant.”

Crew said the passenger had been asked 15 times to put on a mask during the flight.

After she refused, the flight attendants notified her that the police would need to be called when the plane landed at Heathrow.

The court was shown bodycam footage of Ms Kemppinen curled up on the floor of the plane, crying, as the officer who arrested her approached her after landing.

“Tell me your name or give me your passport. Are you taking the mick?” he says in the video, adding, “I’m going to have to arrest you.”

The defence argued that Ms Kemppinen had been under the influence of depression medication which had an effect on the alcohol she consumed, and was suffering from “international flight anxiety”.

Recorder Michael Hick addressed the defendant, saying: “You behaved very badly and clearly caused anxiety and distress.

“I am sure you are well aware of the effect that can have on people in those confined and cramped conditions where people feel vulnerable and many feel anxious.

“You refused to wear a mask and were clearly causing great difficulty to the crew.”

Her fine encompasses £1,000 for being drunk on an aircraft, £250 compensation for PC Patel, and £200 in court costs.

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