BA passenger assaulted flight attendants after taking tablets, court told

·2-min read
William Clegg arrives at Isleworth Crown Court, west London (Steve Parsons/PA) (PA Archive)
William Clegg arrives at Isleworth Crown Court, west London (Steve Parsons/PA) (PA Archive)

A BA passenger assaulted five flight attendants after drinking and taking sleeping tablets, a court has heard.

William Clegg, 31, is accused of assaulting five members of staff aboard the long-haul BA flight from San Jose in the US to Heathrow on August 25 2019.

He appeared at Isleworth Crown Court on Monday wearing a navy suit, blue shirt and glasses.

Paul Edwards, prosecuting, told the jury that Clegg suffered from epilepsy and insomnia.

While in the US, Clegg had visited a doctor who prescribed him Ambien, a sleeping tablet, to help with his insomnia.

He went to the galley and started throwing chocolate bars. He said he wanted to go outside to see his friends. He was told you can’t, you are 38,000ft in the air

Paul Edwards, prosecutor

Mr Edwards told the court that Clegg was only supposed to take one tablet before the flight, but took two instead.

Once onboard the flight, Clegg drank three glasses of wine and two miniature bottles of Baileys.

“This led to him acting bizarrely”, the prosecutor said.

“He was walking up and down the flight in business class while shouting.

“He went to the galley and started throwing chocolate bars.

“He said he wanted to go outside to see his friends.

“He was told you can’t, you are 38,000ft in the air.”

Mr Edwards added that Clegg also used his vape in plane.

“He also used his vape in the flight”, he said.

When he was confronted by flight attendant Amy Stewart, Clegg responded by lifting his T-shirt up and trying to put it over her head.

Giving evidence, Ms Stewart told the court: “He lifted his T-shirt up and tried put me under it.

“I pushed myself back”.

In response, the cabin crew decided to take Clegg to the back of the plane and restrain him.

However, when flight attendant Jamie Marsh tried to restrain Clegg, the passenger grabbed his arm and threw him to the floor.

Clegg was then taken to the back of the plane.

“It was after he was at the back of the plane that he tried to headbutt Amy Stewart three times,” the prosecutor said.

Another two flight attendants, Cieran Robert Smith and Franz Hartmann, were assaulted while restraining Mr Clegg at the back of the plane, Mr Edwards said.

He said that Mr Clegg hit Cieran Robert Smith in the temple and kicked Franz Hartmann.

The court heard that a fifth flight attendant, Carlie Titchner – involved in restraining Mr Clegg – did not remember being assaulted by him, but after the incident found that she had bruises on her arm.

Mr Edwards said: “The main issue for the Crown is, was the defendant reckless when he took the tablets?”

Clegg, of Notting Hill west London denies five counts of assault by beating.

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