Air rage passenger sentenced to 18 months but avoids jail

Air rage passenger sentenced to 18 months but avoids jail

A drunken passenger bit another man on the arm and swore at a cabin crew members on a British Airways flight, a court heard yesterday.

Joshua McCarthy, who had drunk five small bottles of wine, sank his teeth into the forearm of Chris McNerlin breaking the skin leaving a deep bruise.

The air rage victim was helping cabin crew restrain McCarthy at the time.

McCarthy 'lost it' about 90 minutes from Heathrow when he spat on the passenger in front of him and when told to calm down called a BA stewardess a "f**king red-haired Nazi bitch".

He narrowly escaped jail when he was given a suspended sentence at Isleworth Crown Court for being drunk on an aircraft, assault and spitting on another passenger.

McCarthy, 21, from Sidcup, Kent, had drunk bottle after bottle of wine and 'lost it' aboard the flight from Dubai to Heathrow in April.

Douglas Adams, prosecuting, said: "The flight was full of families and young children returning from the Easter holidays in Dubai.

"The defendant was sat next to his parents. With around 90 minutes of the flight remaining, the crew were bringing around breakfast boxes and that sort of thing.

"A short time later the passenger in the seat in front said he felt uneasy when McCarthy started waving his hands at a young black woman waiting by the toilet with her baby.

"He wasn't sure whether they knew each other or not, but he says he ignored what was going on.

"He says he shuffled in his seat to make it known that he had noticed the defendant knocking into his seat.

"He says he turned and looked at Mr McCarthy and then looked forward."

Adams said at this moment, McCarthy spat into the passenger's hair.

He said: "He felt a spit of air being blown on the back of his head and felt spit on his hair - a wet substance."

The passenger in front, asked "what are you doing" and told him to "f**king sit down and shut up".

A member of the cabin crew then urged him to sit down but was called a "f**king red-haired Nazi bitch", before McNerlin intervened and received a bite to the arm.

In a victim impact statement to the court, McNerlin said he had "received an incrediblyvicious bite".

He said: "Despite wearing a jumper, it broke my skin. Since the bite, the anxiety has been unbearable.

"It had been difficult to be intimate with my girlfriend because it has taken a month to make sure I am clear of infection."

The court heard a flight attendant said she had "had trouble sleeping" since the attack and: "I cannot be alone around men, or be in the presence of drunk men".

Sentencing Judge Sandeep Kainth told McCarthy: "Your behaviour with respect to what took place was absolutely disgraceful.

"Firstly, you were intoxicated to such an extent that a member of the public aboard that flight had to intervene to assist the crew.

"Second, there were families present. Thirdly, there were young children present as well.

"The bite lasted for two minutes, which is quite substantial. With regard to the spitting, that is outrageously disgusting."

McCarthy was given two months for spitting, nine months for being drunk on an aircraft and four months for assaulting McNerlin.

The sentences are to be served concurrently, and were suspended for 18 months.

He was also ordered to pay compensation totalling £650, costs totalling £400 and ordered to carry out 220 hours of unpaid work in the community.

McCarthy thanked the judge as he walked free from court with both his parents, The Telegraph reported.


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