A 53-year-old man who terrified fellow passengers on board a holiday flight and assaulted an air steward has been jailed for 12 months. Stephen Robinson clambered over seats to hit his victim after being told to put out a cigarette on the Thomas Cook Turkey to Newcastle flight in March.
In the melee that followed airline steward Philip Miles was hit in the face causing damage to eight of his teeth, the court heard. The Boeing 757, from Antalya to Newcastle, was diverted to Frankfurt in Germany where Robinson was removed.
The court heard how Robinson became aggressive after trying to use a House of Fraser store card to buy drinks. Cabin crew needed the help of passengers to restrain Robinson after the attack and held him down before he could be handcuffed.
Defence counsel said Robinson had no money and was forced to eat leftovers from canteens as he roamed around the German airport for two days. He eventually asked a charity to fund his flight home as nobody in the UK was willing to act as a guarantor.
The judge had no power to ban Robinson from flying again, but he has been blacklisted by Thomas Cook.