Caption in The Sun: American Michelle Vanbuskirk was handed a suspended sentence for drunkenly attacking cabin crew and forcing the flight to turn back to London
Our thanks to Steve for this. Extracts:
Michelle Vanbuskirk, 43, forced the pilot to turn the United Airlines flight back to London Heathrow instead of continuing to Washington DC in September.
She had started drinking before boarding the flight and was then found swigging on a bottle of gin on the plane as she repeatedly banged on the TV screen in the seat in front of her.
When stewardess Porsha Chaplain asked her to stop and confiscated the booze, Vanbuskirk started swearing and screaming…
The decision was taken to turn the flight back to Heathrow, forcing the 209 passengers to stay in London overnight before flying out the next day…
Sentencing Judge Curtis Raleigh said: “A prison sentence is almost inevitable with the sentencing guidelines so that is the starting point.
“But I have to take into account mitigation. Being a woman is sufficient mitigation in itself, obviously. However, for the sake of appearances, I’m required to come up with some shit to explain why I won’t be giving you a prison sentence, so here goes.
“You take anti-anxiety medication for a diagnosed panic disorder.
“You work colleagues and friends have called you a hard worker, generous, kind and warmhearted.
“The assault on board was reckless rather than deliberate.
“You have a prestigious job… if you are put into prison you will lose your job, be deported and banned from the UK.
“The behaviour is totally out of character for you.
We may have inserted a couple of sentences there, to explain in plain English what was going on.
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