Police have released video footage of a man’s drunk behaviour on a plane at Gatwick Airport that led to him being jailed.
Officers were called to meet a flight from Glasgow to Turkey after it had to divert to Gatwick because of the behaviour of Andrew Tosh.
He had sexually assaulted a female member of the cabin crew, swearing and acting aggressively towards other passengers.
Video footage shows Tosh being aggressive and abusive as he is carried off the flight by police.
Police said Tosh did not know which country he was in and had to be put in a hood to prevent him spitting at the officers arresting him.
Tosh, of Stirling Street, Dundee, pleaded guilty to sexual assault, threatening and abusive behaviour, assault and being drunk on an aircraft when he appeared at Lewes Crown Court on June 11.
He was then jailed for nine months and placed on the sex offender register.
A spokesperson for Thomas Cook Airlines said: “For the benefit of our customers’ and employees’ comfort and safety, we have a zero tolerance approach to disruptive behaviour on our flights and fortunately incidents as serious as this are very rare.
“Currently our booking systems don’t give us the ability to ban disruptive passengers permanently but we fully assisted Sussex Police and the Crown Prosecution Service in bringing this case forward and hope the victims in the incident are satisfied with the outcome.”
Sussex Police is now working with airlines, shops and bars at Gatwick Airport to try to prevent problems in the air by dealing with those who have the potential to cause issues before they board their plane.
It is an offence to be drunk on an aircraft or to enter an aircraft while drunk.
Operation Disrupt is running throughout the summer and begins with airline staff at check-in desks now handing out leaflets warning passengers they could be barred from flying and even arrested if they get drunk and misbehave.
Leaflets are also being given out by airport staff and police officers in the departure lounges, in pubs and bars and at duty free stores.
Officers will then speak to passengers who are drinking or who appear drunk and monitor them before they board their flights to try to prevent them causing problems at the departure gate or on their plane.
Chief Inspector Andy Kundert said: “Our aim is to prevent trouble happening by spotting the likely offenders early and dealing with them. We aim to make it very clear to people exactly what will happen to them if they get drunk.
“It has to be remembered that the number of passengers who cause a problem at Gatwick is a tiny proportion, particularly when you consider 3 million passengers per month fly from or to Gatwick, but there are few things worse when you are flying than having a drunken and abusive person nearby for hours.
“Drunken behaviour by obnoxious people on flights can include sexual assaults or assaults on cabin crews. Cabin staff can also have to deal with verbal abuse and threats.
“It is also upsetting and can be very frightening for other passengers, especially young children.
“This kind of behaviour is totally unacceptable and neither us nor the airlines will tolerate it.
“We are not saying that people cannot have a drink before they fly but if you have one too many don’t expect to get on a plane.”
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