Halifax passenger jailed for drunken behaviour on Croatia to Leeds flight

Leeds Bradford International Airport
Leeds Bradford International Airport

A man from Halifax has been jailed for six months because of his drunken behaviour on a flight from Croatia.

Leeds Crown Court heard Ryan Hedges boarded the flight from Split on July 5 carrying a two thirds full bottle of Jagermeister which was seized by the cabin crew.

Heather Gilmore prosecuting said he was told he could have it back when they landed. But on the flight to Leeds Bradford airport he was “loud, abusive and disruptive.”

Shortly after take-off he started to drink from a bottle of Sambuca which was again taken from him.

He kept leaving his seat and refused to sit down when he was told to. He was shouting and other passengers complained about his language.

“He was clearly drunk and had been when he got on the plane,” she said. When told the police would be contacted he said: “Get the police I don’t care.”

He subsequently commented: “If I get arrested I’ll kick your head in.” A message was sent from the plane and officers were waiting to arrest him when it landed.

Miss Gilmore told the court Hedges had a record that included convictions for common assault, criminal damage, drunk and disorderly, invading the playing area at a football match and theft.

Jeremy Hill-Baker representing Hedges told the court he had travelled to Croatia with four friends to a music festival but “things did not go well.”

“Their accommodation was sub-standard and cramped and friction between the group resulted in a real falling out.”

He said when they got to the airport Hedges chose to sit with just one other member of the group whom he was still getting on with but during the journey heard comments made by another in the group about himself.

He had drunk far too much and when he heard what was being said “mumbling” behind him he became abusive to that person and it was that person to whom he directed the arrest remark not a member of crew or another passenger.

Mr Hill-Baker said Hedges had no intention of upsetting others but he accepted he had done so as a result of his drunken stupidity. He had e-mailed Jet2 to apologise to the crew.

Hedges, 33 of Woodside Place, Boothtown, Halifax, admitted being drunk on an aircraft.

Jailing him Judge Neil Clark said he was abusive, disruptive and uncooperative. “This continued throughout the whole of this flight and you repeatedly refused to respond to requests to moderate your behaviour.”

He said that was not only unpleasant for other passengers trapped on the plane with him but could be dangerous if he was preventing cabin crew from doing their duty or causing other passengers to panic or react.