Air rage drunk in court
Last updated at 14:20, Thursday, 20 November 2008
A 'PILLAR of the community' turned into a drunken lout on a plane and caused misery for other passengers.
Askam charity worker Derek Kirkwood, 58, was so nervous of taking to the skies, he washed down a tablet with up to 12 miniature bottles of brandy and wine.
He had a massive row with his wife and then threatened to kick an air stewardess “up the bottom” when she would not take one of his empties.
Kirkwood then lurched towards a female passenger before picking on her husband, saying: “You're a big man up here - let's see if you are a big man on the ground.”
And when the cabin manager tried to intervene, Kirkwood swore and told him: “I'll sort you out at the airport.”
Police arrested Kirkwood when the holiday jet, travelling from Las Palmas in Gran Canaria, touched down in Manchester.
He told them: “I'm a nervous flyer but I wasn't drunk.
“I had had 10 to 12 shorts, but you couldn't tell I’d had a drink.”
At Minshull Street Crown Court in Manchester, Kirkwood admitted being drunk on an aircraft on April 28.
Mr Alastair Fitzgerald, prosecuting, said: “Jo Young, a cabin crew member, was passing through the cabin with a duty-free trolley.
“She passed the defendant and he put an empty bottle on the trolley, she placed it back on the defendant's tray.
“He said: 'You take it or I'll kick you up the bottom.'”
Mr Fitzgerald said a passenger, Andrew Kaye, passed Kirkwood during the flight and tripped over his feet.
“He apologised to the defendant but the defendant kicked out at him,” said Mr Fitzgerald.
"Mr Kaye and his wife were stood in the galley area, she was feeling unwell.
“The defendant went up to them.
“Mr Kaye's response was to tell him to get his hands off her.
“The cabin crew told the defendant to go back to his seat.
“They then returned to their seats which were near to the defendant.
“He started to poke Mr Kaye and was verbally abusive towards him.
“He said: 'You're a big man up here - let's see if you are a big man on the ground'.”
In a statement read to the court, Mr Kaye said: “I continued the rest of the flight being humiliated by this man.
“He decided to force his abuse on me.
“He shouldn't have been allowed on the flight.”
Mr Fitzgerald said Kirkwood swore at cabin manager Jonathan Dearing and told him: “I'll sort you out at the airport when we land.”
Mr Fitzgerald said when Kirkwood was arrested on board the plane, he continued to be abusive.
Mr Fitzgerald added: “In his subsequent interview, he said he was a nervous flyer.
“He denied being drunk.
“When asked about his general consumption of alcohol, he said he had had 10 to 12 shorts, but said you couldn't tell he'd had a drink.”
Mr David Abbott, defending, said Kirkwood was sorry.
Mr Abbott said: “I have a number of letters from charities that have been assisted by Derek Kirkwood over the years.
“This is a man, 58 years of age, who was a pillar of a community.
“A man who did good work for the charities.
“A man who has brought shame on himself and his family.
“His behaviour was inexcusable.
“He has shown genuine remorse.”
Kirkwood, of Saves Lane, Askam, was given a four-month jail sentence, suspended for a year.
Kirkwood was also placed on a 12-month supervision order and told to do 180 hours of unpaid work.
He was also ordered to pay £700 costs.
Passing sentence, Judge Andrew Lowcock told Kirkwood: “You were extremely drunk.
“Your behaviour was loutish, rude and unpleasant.
“You made threats - you were abusive, pushing and prodding another passenger.
“What you did made the flight a very uncomfortable experience for the people on it, especially the cabin crew.
“Even your wife was telling you to be quiet.
“You made life a misery for your other passengers.
“I am told you are frightened of flying but your fear of flying is no excuse for what you did.
“The other people could not get away from you.
“I give you full credit for your guilty plea, your age and your good character.
“I have read letters from people who speak highly of you.
“It is clear that you have expressed genuine remorse.”
First published at 09:51, Tuesday, 18 November 2008
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
Have your say
Depressingly predictable platitudes from the defence. If this guy had been 30 years younger and wearing a football top, he'd've been wrestled to the ground, cuffed and banged-up on touch down at Manchester. Despite the noble words of the Judge, this guy got off very, very lightly.
Fortunately, I have only witnessed one person exhibiting such behaviour and the Police were waiting for him at Heathrow.
To say that it is excusable because he has worked for a Charity is laughable.
Had this happened en route to Singapore, he would have seen the inside of a jail cell for quite a while and then a hefty fine