PETALING JAYA: A couple were brought before a Magistrate’s Court in London for almost forcing a Malaysia Airlines flight to be diverted after they swore at crew and passengers over a row over a broken TV screen, the Sun newspaper reported.
It said musician Anthony Grant, 27, and Carola Conti, 26, a National Health Service worker, banged chairs and spilled drinks while being drunk during the 13-hour flight.
Carola and her boyfriend were accused of swearing at cabin crew on board the Malaysian Airlines flight bound for Heathrow airport from Kuala Lumpur on March 7, the British newspaper said.
The disruption to cabin crew services was so bad that the pilot considered an emergency diversion to land the aircraft for the first time in his 37-year career.
The flight proceeded and once the flight landed at Heathrow, the pair were arrested by police, but claimed they weren’t drunk and accused a staff member of calling Carola a “c**t”.
They were today charged with one count of being drunk when entering an aircraft, which has a capacity of 494 passengers, and one count of behaving in a threatening and abusive manner towards a member of the cabin staff.
They pleaded guilty at Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court today. The charges carry a maximum of two years’ jail.
Due to the seriousness of the case, chair of the bench, Benita Cox, ordered the pair to appear at Isleworth Crown Court on May 9 to be sentenced.
The Daily Mail reported that Zara Khan, who prosecuted, told the court police were called at 4.50am on March 7 after concerned crew members reported a couple had been drinking and abusing cabin crew members during their journey.
“Witnesses saw both drinking, being very loud and abusive to fellow passengers. They continued drinking, swearing, banging chairs, spilling drinks and disturbing passengers around them.
‘The crew told both to be quiet but received abuse from both.”
Zara said it was a “dangerous” set of circumstances as the pair were a risk to the public.
Meena Shinh, in defence, told the court the couple had been in a relationship and had been travelling from Cambodia. They were forced to extend their holiday in Cambodia, from three to seven weeks, after Grant was bitten by a poisonous spider and had to stay to get treatment.
‘They both lost their jobs and spent all their savings there. She is also unwell and suffers from anxiety but ran out of medication.”
Meena said the couple had a couple of drinks but were not drunk.
She said Carola’s screen was not working and she was trying to get it to work. She said for some reason, a member of staff was rude and swore at her, called her a c**t.
The couple were bailed until the hearing.