Drunk man dropped trousers and started food fight on Holiday Jet flight to UK
A drunk airline passenger who dropped his trousers, swore at fellow travellers and tried to start a food fight during a flight to the UK was jailed today.
Mohammad Rafiq, 47, drunk at least half a bottle of whiskey before boarding the Holiday Jet flight from Muscat in Oman to Manchester.
During the eight-hour flight, the scrap metal merchant grabbed another bottle of whiskey from the drinks trolley, chucked the in-flight meals around the plane, and repeatedly gave crew and passengers the middle finger, a court heard.
He was eventually calmed down by another passenger and fell asleep in a drunken stupor.
He was arrested when the Oman Air WY0105 plane landed on November 1.
Manchester Crown Court heard Rafiq, from Ashton-under-Lyne, had been drinking heavily after attending the funeral of his godfather in his native Pakistan.
Rafiq said he hadn't drunk booze for 3 weeks but 'succumbed to temptation' after seeing others drinking alcohol – he is now seeking support for his heavy consumption.
The incident occurred on November 1 last year after Oman Air WY0105 had taken off from Muscat.
Prosecutor Laura Peers noted Rafiq's antisocial behaviour started only thirty minutes into the flight.
Sentencing Judge Suzanne Goddard QC told Rafiq people shouldn’t have to put up with people "behaving in this loutish and drunken way”.
She said: ''You started to take issue with a married couple that were sat next to you and they had to move to different seats. Two other males were moved to where they were sitting and you started to cause trouble with them.
''Staff tried to calm things down and the cabin crew director describes how you were acting aggressively and you started to remove your trousers in front of the other males. After taking them down, you were then putting them back on, which was quite bizarre.
In mitigation, defence lawyer Andrew Evans said Rafiq had suffered emotional stress while in Pakistan to pay his respects at the funeral of his godfather.
Mr Evans added: ''He had spent three weeks in Pakistan without a drop of alcohol and he anticipated not being tempted on his return. But on the flight back he was surprised to find alcohol being served and he was in the position where he succumbed to temptation.
''He was causing people distress, but this bizarre behaviour was not dangerous. He hadn’t attacked anyone physically and he calmed down."
The passengers surrounding Rafiq were moved away and he was left on his own. Cabin crew made an announcement on the plane as to how passengers were expected to behave and he was given a letter with a warning on it.
However, according to Judge Goddard, Rafiq caused so much disruption the staff were unable to do their jobs.
She concluded: "The circumstances are so serious that immediate custody is the only sentence this court can pass.''
Rafiq was jailed for six months.
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