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Thursday, 13 April 2017

Drunk Couple almost forced a Malaysia Airlines flight to be diverted after swearing at crew and banging passengers chairs

Drunk couple who almost forced a Malaysia to London flight to be diverted when they swore at crew and banged passengers' chairs in a row over a broken TV screen face jail

  • Antony Grant, 27, and partner Carola Conti, 26, were 'drunk and abusive' on flight
  • Pilot said it was first time in his 37-year career he was almost forced to divert 
  • Musician Grant and NHS worker Conti were returning from travelling Cambodia
  • The pair pleaded guilty and will be sentenced at crown court in May  
A drunk couple returning from travelling could face prison after almost forcing a flight to be diverted when they swore at cabin crew and rowed with passengers in a dispute over a broken television screen.
Musician Anthony Grant, 27, and Carola Conti, 26, were flying home from their adventures around Cambodia when they were arrested moments after their plane touched down at London's Heathrow on Wednesday, March 7. 
The nightmare ordeal began for passengers when the drunk pair boarded the 13-hour flight from Kuala Lumpur to London and started threatening staff.
They then swore at fellow flyers and split drinks in an episode of disruption that was so bad that the pilot considered an emergency diversion for the first time in his 37-year career. 
Pictured: Anthony Grant, 27, and Carola Conti, 26, (pictured) claimed they weren't drunk but admitted they had had a couple of drinks  and accused a member of staff calling Carola Conti (left) a c***
Pictured: Anthony Grant, 27, and Carola Conti, 26, (pictured) claimed they weren't drunk but admitted they had had a couple of drinks  and accused a member of staff calling Carola Conti (left) a c***
The duo were asked to be quiet but refused, claiming they weren't drunk and accused a member of staff of calling Conti, an NHS worker from Hove in East Sussex, a c***. 
They were both charged with one count of entering an aircraft, which has a capacity of 494 passengers, while drunk and one count of behaving in a threatening and abusive manner towards a member of cabin staff on March 7.
Grant (pictured) and Conti had been travelling in Cambodia but stayed nearly twice as long as they intended after he was bitten by a poisonous spider and needed hospital treatment
Grant (pictured) and Conti had been travelling in Cambodia but stayed nearly twice as long as they intended after he was bitten by a poisonous spider and needed hospital treatment
The pair appeared in court today at Uxbridge Magistrates' Court where self-employed musician Grant, wearing a dark blue suit and NHS worker Conti, dressed in dark jacket and thick rimmed glasses, both pleaded guilty to the charges which carry a maximum sentence of two years in jail. 
Zara Khan, prosecuting, said police were called at 4.50am on March 7 after concerned crew members reported a couple had been drinking and abusing cabin crew members during their journey.
She said: 'The aircraft landed at Heathrow and police arrested Miss Conti and Mr Grant and on boarding the aircraft and meeting other passengers it became clear the two passengers had been causing significant amount of trouble throughout the flight.
'Witnesses saw both drinking, being very loud and abusive to fellow passengers. They continued drinking swearing, banging chairs, spilling drinks and disturbing passengers around them.
'They caused such disruption people tried to move away from them. Crew told both to be quiet but received abuse from both.
Conti and partner Grant had been travelling in Cambodia but stayed nearly twice as long as they intended after he was bitten by a poisonous spider and needed hospital treatment
Conti and partner Grant had been travelling in Cambodia but stayed nearly twice as long as they intended after he was bitten by a poisonous spider and needed hospital treatment
The court heard how from a statement made by the pilot who said it was the first time in 37 years of flying he considered diverting the aircraft because of how abusive and disruptive they were. 
Ms Khan said it was a 'dangerous' set of circumstances as the pair were a risk to the public. 
She said: 'They effectively denied they were drinking. Given the seriousness of the matter, the Crown say this should be sent to crown court for sentencing. There was clearly a risk to the public.
'It was a long flight, disrupting other members of the public and flying crew staff. It is clearly a dangerous set of circumstances.'
Conti and partner Grant had been travelling in Cambodia but stayed nearly twice as long as they intended after he was bitten by a poisonous spider and needed hospital treatment.
The defendants claimed they were not drunk and an argument broke out when one of the cabin crew called Conti a c**t.
Pictured: Antony Grant
Pictured: Carola Conti
Chair of the bench, Benita Cox, sent the case to crown court where the pair will be sentenced next month 
Meena Shinh defending said: 'Both defendants are in a relationship and had been travelling from Cambodia and intended to remain there for three to seven weeks.
She said: 'While there Miss Conti was supposed to return after three weeks but she stayed for seven weeks because unfortunately Mr Grant was bitten by a poisonous spider, which rendered him unable to travel and required treatment.
'It caused him to remain in Cambodia for seven weeks. They both lost their jobs and they spent all their savings because they had to remain there and get treatment.
'She had to undertake some work to pay their way. She is also unwell and suffers from anxiety and ran out of medication so needed to buy medication in Cambodia.'
Conti had worked for the NHS while Grant was self-employed and a musician.
Ms Shinh added: 'They accept they consumed a couple of drinks but they say they weren't drunk. They were not acting initially disruptive, both sat together but Miss Conti's screen was not working and she was trying to get it to work.
'This would have caused passengers in front to feel like someone was knocking the chair. It was not her intention to do so, she was only trying to make it work.
'However for some reason one member of staff began being rude and swore at her. She says that although she was called a c**t.
'Nonetheless she accepts what should have happened was that she spoke to a member of staff, pulled them to one side and resolved it amicably.
'Both accept they were in the wrong. When they were told if you don't stop arguing with staff we will stop the flight they stopped talking even to each other.
'These are not people who go out to deliberately cause arguments on flights..'
Chair of the bench, Benita Cox, sent the case to crown court, as count one was too serious to be sentenced at a magistrates' court.
Conti, of Hove, East Sussex, and Grant, of Sevenoaks, Kent, will next appear at Isleworth Crown Court on May 9 to be sentenced.
Both were bailed until the hearing.


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4401938/Drunk-couple-forced-flight-divert-face-jail.html#ixzz4e6gc7kgx
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