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Gin-fuelled ‘psychotic episode’ led to career question

November 10, 2017 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Scratching, biting and punching after downing a bottle of gin, a senior staff member employed by a residential boys’ school caused such a disturbance on an international flight, a flight attendant aboard later reconsidered her choice of career.

The alarming tale of the in-flight meltdown surfaced in Manchester Magistrates Court, which heard that Bernadette Briggs, 39, consumed almost all of a bottle of Bombay Sapphire gin that she brought aboard the flight from Manchester to Egypt.

Then, 10 minutes before the plane was due to touch down, Briggs “went crazy”, attacking crew and fellow passengers after suffering what was described as an alcohol-fuelled psychotic episode.http://www.centarahotelsresorts.com/b2b/?utm_source=e-global&utm_medium=banner&utm_campaign=exotic-destination&fbtrack=CUST-exotic-destination-e-global-banner

An account of the case in London’s Metro related that the court was told Briggs had threatened to “rip the f***ing head off” a crew member, had punched a flight attendant and bit and scratched another passenger who had tried to help crew restrain her.

Briggs was travelling with Thomas Cook, which banned her from returning from Egypt with them, the court heard.

She pleaded guilty to being drunk aboard an aircraft, assaulting a cabin crewmember and a passenger and behaving in a threatening manner to air crew.

Briggs had staggered to her feet “swaying about and slurring her words” shortly before the flight was due to land, refusing to sit down, shouting and swearing at other passengers. She punched a female flight attendant from behind, causing the attendant to fall into passengers across the aisle. The attendant, in a victim statement, said the behaviour was the most disturbing she had witnessed and had made her question her career.

A male passenger described how he was heading to Egypt for a “second honeymoon following a period of illness”, only to have Briggs ruin the start of his holiday by biting and scratching him while he tried to help “inexperienced” crew restrain her.

“I wish to see this woman prosecuted for my injuries,” he told the court.

Briggs’ defence is that she suffered a psychotic episode from combining medication and “too much to drink”. She is said to be “ashamed, remorseful and apologetic”.

Magistrates said the case was “extremely serious” and have moved it to Manchester Crown Court for sentencing.

Written by Peter Needham

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