A BOOZED-UP Jet2 passenger who had to be locked in an aircraft toilet and restrained after he tried to BITE female cabin crew on a flight to Turkey was jailed today.
Scotsman David Lauriston, 39, made punching motions and drunkenly shouted obscenities at fellow passengers before violently turning on three air hostesses who intervened.
He was sentenced to 20 months behind bars at Manchester Crown Court after admitting to assault and being drunk on an aircraft.
Just half an hour into the afternoon flight to the popular holiday destination on September 21 last year, all hell broke loose after taking off from Glasgow.
A number of passengers alerted staff to Lauriston – who had been drinking heavily before boarding – shouting profanities and raising his voice to other holidaymakers.
He had shouted the offensive slur “fenian” at an Irish couple on the LS123 flight to Bodrum, and branded them “b****rds”.
As staff attempted to direct him back to his seat at the rear of the plane, he tried to storm past before beginning his airborne rampage.
Lauriston poked flight attendant Nicola McDonagh repeatedly in the face and pushed her shoulder as she tried to defuse the situation.
She described it as the “worst experience I have ever had,” and slammed his behaviour as “inexcusable”.
Her colleague, Debra Watson, restrained the drunk as he continued to make punching movements towards other passengers, and wrestled him to the back of the plane before becoming Lauriston’s next target.
He took a mobile phone out of his back pocket when she released one of his arms, pushed it into her face and jabbed her in the head at least ten times.
He said: “You are a f***ing faggot! Do you support Jimmy Savile?” before threatening to bite the terrified stewardess and making growling motions towards her.
After saying he needed to use the toilet, staff decided to lock him inside – but he continued his booze-fuelled frenzy and began kicking the toilet door and window in an attempt to escape.
Upon letting him go and clearing three seats at the back of the plane, he continued dishing out a torrent of abuse, calling staff “sluts” and “cows”.
The 39-year-old was then wrapped in restraining straps by the stewardesses, as he grabbed Miss Watson’s neck scarf and punched her in the face.
“A TRAUMATIC EXPERIENCE”
The escalating incident saw the pilot prepare to divert the flight to Manchester Airport, where police were waiting to arrest Lauriston.
The emergency landing cost the Jet2 airline a whopping £7,611.24 and was deemed a “real risk to safety” by the pilot Steve Anderson, due to the amount of fuel onboard.
Miss Watson, who suffered bruising to her leg and arm in the incident, said in a statement: ”I’ve been in the industry 15 years and I have considerable experience dealing with difficult passengers, but this incident was by far the worst.
“I’ve never experienced this level of violence towards me and others. I hope this male understands the level of fear that he caused to me, the crew and passengers. It left me questioning my future.
“It’s been really hanging over my head. I will never forget the crying children and the frightened look on passenger’s faces,” she said.
All members of staff were put on leave by Jet2.com in the wake of the incident.
Bethany Amour, who was hit and kicked by Lauriston during the ruckus, said she was “proud of how me and the crew dealt with it. It was a traumatic experience.”
Lauriston later claimed he had been drinking on the plane when a fellow passenger he had shared alcohol with began making suggestive gay comments towards him and he subsequently ”blacked out.”
He remembered nothing of the incident and said later: ”I feel disgusted with myself. I am sorry, and I would like to apologise to all concerned.
“I need help with my alcohol and mental health issues.”
But Judge Hilary Manley dismissed his apologies, saying: “What you did caused much more than distress and alarm.
“You caused real terror. People need to understand that if they behave like this on an aircraft, they will go to prison.”
One of the 165 passengers on board the flight said they were “traumatised” by the incident and “still had nightmares”.
Source: The Sun