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Qantas ‘body slam’ man found guilty of assault

December 7, 2018 Headline News No Comments Email Email

A stocky man who pushed a Qantas flight attendant backwards after she objected to his videoing her attempts to cope with a drunk male trying to board a flight, has been found guilty of assault and warned by the judge that he may face jail.

Patrick Walters, 48, went on trial in the District Court of Western Australia this week.

The incident took place in April 2017 and delayed a flight from Port Hedland to Brisbane by three hours.

The court heard that Walters initially came to the attention of cabin crew because he was missing from his exit row seat. It turned out he had swapped boarding passes with another man, Perth Now reported.

That man eventually showed up but was stopped when he tried to board, as he appeared to be drunk and was argumentative.

At that point, Walters got up, approached the front of the plane and began filming flight attendant Karyn Dwyer as she spoke with the late arrival.

The court heard that Walters ignored requests to return to his seat and stop filming. When Dwyer reached for his phone, Walters pushed her backwards into the galley in a move that Dwyer’s colleague described as a “body slam”.

Both men (Walters and the late arrival) were taken off the plane. Dwyer was said to have been left shaking, pale and in shock, subsequently suffering shoulder pain and movement limitations that required physiotherapy.

In court this week, Walters was bailed pending a sentencing hearing due to be held today, Perth Now reported. He was ordered to pay a AUD 5000 personal undertaking and a surety of AUD 1000, and to surrender his passport and not go within a kilometre of an airport.

Judge Bruce Goetze warned Walters he could face jail time.

Written by Peter Needham

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