'Alcohol is no excuse': Drunk mum and son cause chaos on easyjet flight

Benjamin Lynch pleaded guilty to being drunk on board an aircraft
Benjamin Lynch pleaded guilty to being drunk on board an aircraft -Credit:Manchester Evening News

A drunken passenger on a packed flight from Antalya to Manchester threated to "chin" a member of cabin crew who took a drink from him.

After the plane later landed and was heading towards the gate, Benjamin Lynch fell onto a passenger sat in their seat with a baby nearby as he "stumbled" down the aisle with the seatbelt warning lights still on, a court was told. His mother, also drunk on board the easyJet flight, attempted to attempted to push past police officers and told them to 'f*** off' when they boarded the flight and arrested him.

She was subsequently arrested as well, the MEN reports.

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Ahead of a busy summer for travel, a crown court judge issued a stinging warning to those who drink to excess before, or on board, planes as he sentenced Patricia Lynch, 59, and her son Benjamin, 29. He said they had created a "terrifying" experience for other travellers.

There were 179 other holidaymakers on the returning jet, including babies and young children, Manchester's Minshull Street Crown Court was told on Tuesday. James Hudson, prosecuting, said the flight time was four-and-a-half hours and Benjamin Lynch's behaviour began around two-and-a-half hours in.

He was first spotted standing at the back of the plane speaking loudly and swearing. He was warned, the court was told, but didn't stop.

Patricia Lynch
Patricia Lynch -Credit:Manchester Evening News

About an hour before landing, a passenger asked to be moved because of Lynch's behaviour, but Lynch was said to have tried to "provoke a reaction", pushing the man and "entering his space".

Patricia Lynch, the court was told, ordered a vodka and lemonade and accused the passenger of "taking the p***". The court was told drinks were then taken from them by cabin crew.

That, said Mr Hudson, prompted a "strong reaction" from Benjamin Lynch, who threatened to "chin" the member of cabin crew then stood up and squared up to him, knocking over drinks as he did.

When police later boarded, he walked down the aisle with his hands outstretched to be handcuffed, before beginning to lie on the floor.

Mr Hudson said Patricia Lynch began arguing with the officers, telling them her son had done nothing wrong. He said: "She tried to push past officers and also told officers to f*** off.

"The officers described her as slurring her words and smelling of alcohol. Both pleaded guilty at the first opportunity."

Both mother and son, of Pope Lane in Ribbleton, Preston, pleaded guilty to being drunk on board an aircraft under the Air Navigation Order 2009.

Benjamin Lynch - who the court heard has 14 previous convictions for 23 offences - was jailed for four months. His mother, who has no previous convictions, was jailed for two months, suspended for two years, and ordered to complete 80 hours of unpaid work.

The court was told she was in a "different position" to her son and that there was a "distinction" between their offending on the flight. Judge Jonathan Seely said Benjamin Lynch displayed "gross selfishness and a complete lack of respect".

He said: "The behaviour was started by you, Benjamin Lynch, and went on for a very long time. You behaviour was disgraceful - totally selfish. You should not get on an aeroplane as an adult if you cannot control your drinking or your behaviour.

"Those who become drunk on an aircraft whilst in flight must expect a custodial sentence. A lot of people on that flight were probably terrified of flying. Then when someone kicks off like you did - why should they have to suffer your abuse?"

Judge Seely said the behaviour of Patricia Lynch was "disgraceful", but less serious than that of her son.

The court was told Benjamin Lynch showed "heartfelt and genuine remorse" and wanted to issue an apology. It was said to have been a "particularly fraught vacation" and that he suffered from anxiety and claustrophobia.

His mum was said to have been "trying to placate" her son and her role was described by her counsel as "secondary" to his and "extremely out of character".

Judge Seely, however, said: "People have to be responsible for their own actions, and alcohol is no excuse. It is about other people. Children were affected."

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