- Wesley Haining started a rude argument with his partner on the flight
- His rampage left nearly 300 passengers in fear for their lives, a court heard
A British holidaymaker who intoxicated threatened cabin crew on a nine-hour transatlantic flight on the 21st anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks has been jailed for 20 weeks.
Wesley Haining, 45, started a rude and drunken argument with his partner after getting drunk on Bacardi on the TUI flight from Jamaica to Manchester last year.
Haining, from Salford, then demanded more alcohol, played the victim and even threatened to sue the cabin crew who confronted him, Manchester Crown Court heard.
Her rampage left nearly 300 passengers in fear for their lives and brought an unnamed woman to tears after calling her a ‘fucking d******d’, ‘a fucking idiot’ and a ‘damn stupid’.
He admitted being drunk on a plane and using threatening and abusive words to cause distress and alarm and was jailed for 20 weeks. He breached a suspended sentence for fraud that had been imposed on him four months previously.
As the TUI plane cruised 34,000 feet above the Atlantic Ocean, Haining launched his verbal attack on the woman as her fellow passengers, many of whom were children, looked on.
He also shouted, “You know what she needs, she needs to get run over by a fucking black cab!” while roaming the aisles in a fit of rage.
He then turned on the cabin crew who tried to calm him down saying, “I’m gonna fucking punch you in the face”.
He added: ‘You don’t talk to me like that. I will sue you if you touch me.
Haining’s behavior on a Jamaica-Manchester flight between September 10 and 11 last year became so intimidating that the captain was alerted – but an emergency rerouting was not possible due to their position over the Atlantic.
Instead, the unruly passenger, who had been drinking his own plastic bottle of Bacardi throughout the flight, continued his defiance in the air, the court heard.
He said “I don’t give f**k” when he received a “notice of violation”.
He was arrested after the plane landed in the UK.
In a personal victim statement, flight attendant Joanne Scullion said: ‘In my 20 years as a cabin crew member, I have never felt more helpless, shocked and scared than during this incident. I was apprehensive about working the same route because of what had happened.
Ms Scullion was working as a cabin crew member on flight TOM115 from Montego Bay to Manchester.
The flight contained 294 passengers and a number of cabin crew and pilots. She started to take care of the front of the plane and moved up the cabin during her shift.
When she got to the back of the plane, she heard screams and screams coming from one of the seated passengers.
“When she looked up, she could see a woman walking towards her crying. After consoling her and letting her use the facilities, she was told the man sitting next to her was ‘pissed off, horrible and mean to her,’ said Peter Malone, prosecuting.
“This man was his partner, Mr. Haining. As she returned to her seat, he shouted that she was “a fucking shit, a fucking idiot and a fucking stupid”. He acted aggressively and animatedly towards her.
The prosecutor said Haining was warned about his behavior and admitted it. However, when meal service started later in the flight, he became aggressive again, shouting, “I’m the victim here, she started it”. She’s fucking shit.’
Mr Malone added: ‘His demeanor had become increasingly intimidating, and at this point he was told he would no longer be served alcohol.’ In response, he said “I don’t care” and continued to drink from a hidden bottle of Bacardi.
The captain was informed of the disturbance but because they were flying over the Atlantic, an emergency landing was not possible.
Haining continued his behavior despite a new warning, the court heard.
“He was told to watch out for a child sitting next to him when he got up from his seat. In response, he told Mrs. Scullion “you don’t talk to me like that. I’ll sue you if you touch me.”
“He then said she had to ‘get run over by a fucking black cab’, raised his fists and slammed one into his other palm,” Mr Malone explained.
Another steward had to stand between them to prevent any further escalation.
The woman was moved to a seat at the other end of the plane, but Haining’s behavior continued.
Greater Manchester Police arrested him once the plane landed at Manchester International Airport.
He admitted the offenses and apologized in an interview with Cheadle Heath Police.
His demeanor during the interview was “unsteady, with glassy eyes and was clearly under the influence of drink”, the prosecutor said.
Haining was released on bail and later pleaded guilty to the offenses at Manchester Magistrates’ Court on November 22.
He had 51 prior offenses on his record – the most recent of which was a five-month jail sentence suspended for 12 months in May 2022 for fraud by false representation.
Nothing prevents Britons from traveling abroad if they have a criminal record.
In mitigation for Haining, Patrick Buckley said, “At 34,000 feet above the Atlantic Ocean and expressing unpleasant demeanor, it must have been a scary place.”
“But he has expressed remorse and has cooperated with authorities on all counts since his arrest. Alcohol is the problem here. Unless challenged, this will be a permanent problem for him.
“His memories are hazy at best and his relationship with alcohol has been exacerbated in recent years.”
Sentencing Haining, Judge Mr Recorder Matthew Happold said: ‘You left the cabin crew feeling helpless, threatened and scared. This was compounded by the fact that the other 300 people on board simply could not leave the plane.
“The pilot was unable to land when your behavior manifested itself. I see no alternative to handing down a custodial sentence. The location of your behavior made it particularly concerning.
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