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Drunken aircraft passenger Karl Begley jailed for six months

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A man has been jailed for six months after his abusive behaviour on a flight caused the pilot to divert the plane to Stansted Airport.

Karl Begley, 41, appeared before Chelmsford magistrates on Wednesday (April 10) charged with two public order offences, assault by beating and being drunk in an aircraft.

He became repeatedly abusive to cabin crew on a flight from Alicante in Spain to Belfast in Northern Ireland on the evening of Friday, March 8.

He caused such a disturbance that the pilot had no alternative but to divert the flight to Stansted, where Begley was arrested by Essex Police officers.

Begley, from Londonderry in Northern Ireland, pleaded guilty to using threatening, abusive words or disorderly behaviour likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress; assault by beating; being drunk in an aircraft; and using threatening, abusive or insulting words towards a member of aircraft crew.

He was sentenced to six months in prison and was ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £115 and £85 in court costs.

Stansted Airport police commander Supt Richard Phillibrown said: "Mr Begley's behaviour on this flight was completely unacceptable. His actions put himself, the crew and other passengers in danger and this custodial sentence reflects just how serious these offences are."

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