Aviation: Drunk Passenger Was “Practicing Judo Sweeps” on BA Flight Attendant
A female passenger who tripped members of British Airways (BA) cabin crew on a flight from Johannesburg to London last December has been convicted of assault and fined, Metro.co.uk reports. The outlet states that Hilary Mackay had consumed both wine and rum during the course of the journey and became aggressive toward staff on the flight.
At one point, three members of crew requested that Mackay vacate an extra legroom seat for which she had not paid. In response, the 54-year-old passenger then began to swear at them.
The outlet reports that Mackay next put her leg into the aisle of the craft in order to purposely trip staff.
Speaking of the impact that Mackay’s behavior has had on her, Lucey Downey, a cabin service manager, offered her statement in court in London, saying, “I have been working as a flight attendant for 15 years and have never experienced anyone behave like this towards me.
To make it worse it was in the dark when it happened and now I am nervous every time I go down the aisle – she tripped me up in the darkness and smirked while she did. I am still shaken by her behavior on board.”
In her statement, Leanne Palmer, a member of the flight crew, said, “I was left with bruises after this assault on my shin and the pain kept me up all night – I also had to explain to my children why I was home late.
I still feel trepidation when going into work and dealing with passengers – in all my years at work I have never experienced something like this.”
While Mackay, who has been convicted of assault following the incident, was initially given a custodial jail sentence of four months, this has been suspended for a year.
She has also been ordered to pay £1,140 ($1,487) in fees.
Offering her comments on the incident, Mackay stated, “I was practicing judo sweeps, so it wasn’t to target those three people.”