Aggressive and abusive passenger found guilty for his behaviour after causing flight attendant to resign
The passenger, Mr Kieran Tabberner, got enraged when a flight attendant didn’t let him use the toilet while the seatbelt sign was still on.
Minutes after the take off Tabberner wanted to use the lavatory. He saw flight attendant Robyn Pascoe utilising it and demanded to be let in. When the attendant refused, Tabberner reportedly became aggressive and threatened to urinate on the floor.
The Birmingham Mail reported that Pascoe told the court: “I went to the toilet but when I came out he was waiting trying to get in. I told him he had to go back to his seat as the seat belt signs were still on but he kept saying, ‘you have been to the toilet so why can’t I?’”
“It was a confined area and he was waving his arms around aggressively and shouting. I felt terrified. I have experienced rowdy behaviour on flights before but nothing like this in seven years.”
Tabberner, from Paradise Lane, Hall Green, boarded the plane with three other passengers and acted “loud and rowdy” during the safety briefing.
Another crew member, Sasha Bennington, reported that she told Tabberner to go back to his seat.
“As she was coming out if the toilet he was trying to get in. He was in her face waving his arms and being very threatening. I have never seen Robyn like this. She is a tough cookie but was very shaken and upset. We decided to tell the captain,” she said.
The captain immediately decided to turn Flybe flight BE107 around and return to the Birmingham airport just 10 minutes after takeoff on 26 May.
Tabbener denied such behaviour. He told the court: “I was dying to go to the toilet – I was literally bursting. When I saw her go to the toilet I thought it was OK for me to get up as well and decided to wait outside.
“I was upset and confused when she came out but I wasn’t aggressive towards her. I went back to my seat. I was shocked when they said the flight was turning back. I turned round and apologised to the other passengers.”
Pascoe told the court that she had left her job of seven years because of the incident and that she had been suffering from anxiety ever since.
Tabberner was accused of behaving in an abusive, threatening and insulting manner towards an aircraft crew member and was taken to trial at Birmingham Magistrates Court on Monday.
District Judge Mr Ian Strongman found Tabberner guilty.
He was fined £500, told to pay court costs of £500 and ordered to pay Miss Pascoe £500 in compensation, plus a £50 court surcharge.