Foul-mouthed Jet2 passenger sparked chaos during drunken rage onboard flight from Spain

April Wilson pictured at Newcastle Crown Court
April Wilson pictured at Newcastle Crown Court -Credit:Newcastle Chronicle

A foul-mouthed Jet2 passenger who swore at cabin crew staff during a drunken rage has walked free from court. April Wilson seemed upset when she boarded the UK-bound flight in Alicante.

The 58-year-old continued to get upset while on the plane, slurring her words when cabin crew asked her to calm down as the plane flew at 35,000 ft. Wilson even undid her belt and tried to get out of her seat as the plane was landing.

One flight attendant was left so concerned by Wilson's behaviour, she feared she was going to be attacked mid-flight. Passengers were also worried and asked to move seats.

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Newcastle Crown Court heard that the flight left Spain for Newcastle Airport at 11.25am on November 19 last year. Cabin crew noticed Wilson looked upset and asked if she was okay when she boarded her flight, ChronicleLive reports.

Her upset and anger was primarily aimed towards someone who appeared to be her partner, the court heard. A number of passengers complained about her in-flight behaviour, claiming she was drunk and kept swearing.

One member of staff heard her repeatedly saying "f***", with the defendant ignoring requests to stop swearing. As the female member of cabin crew walked away, Wilson slurred her words and said: "F*** her."

She was again told again to stop swearing and replied: "What the f*** are you going to do you silly little cow". The flight manager approached Wilson in an attempt to calm her down.

Wilson referred to someone, who appeared to be her partner, and said they were taunting her. She appeared upset and said "you don't f****** understand, I need a hug" before trying to grab the flight manager to hug her.

The manager made her a coffee but Wilson - of Front Street, Houghton-le-Spring - continued swearing, the court was told. When the plane was landing in Newcastle, she undid her seatbelt and tried to get out of her seat.

A number of passengers complained about Wilson, with two people sitting near her moved to other seats early in the flight. Wilson was arrested after she got off the plane.

She said she had been drinking vodka the night before and had two small bottles of wine on the flight. Prosecutor Mark Atkins said 'remorseful' Wilson had claimed her partner was 'taunting her about her looks and intelligence'.

One flight attendant said in a victim impact statement that she was 'shaken up' by what happened. She added: "I was concerned her behaviour would escalate and I felt intimidated about what was going to happen next.

"There were 188 passengers on board, of all ages, and they were subjected to her behaviour. Behaviour like this on aircraft is becoming more and more frequent."

The flight manager added: "This is becoming a huge problem due to people using alcohol and drugs." She said that such behaviour at 35,000 feet in an enclosed space is intimidating, adding: "I thought she was going to assault me.

"I was concerned for the other passengers, particularly those around her. She was clearly very intoxicated." The court heard Wilson is now getting help for her alcohol issues.

Katie Spence, defending, said: "This was entirely out of character for her. Unfortunately, the people who felt her wrath were the flight attendants who didn't deserve this to be treated as they were.

"She's horrified at her behaviour and has learned her lesson." Wilson - who had no previous convictions - admitted being drunk on an aircraft.

She was handed a six-month sentence, suspended for 18 months. Sentencing, Judge Gavin Doig said: "You were heard swearing repeatedly, shouting swear words. When asked to stop doing so by cabin staff you were abusive to those members of cabin staff.

"You tried to assault the person in front of you, which appeared to have been your partner, with whom you were primarily angry at the time. Your actions also caused fear and upset to cabin staff and other passengers.

"You were extremely upset, not just being gratuitously offensive. There were clearly other issues troubling you."