Boozy air rage mum who punched BA cabin crew and screamed ‘you have a massive a**e’ walks free – The Sun

A mother-of-two who attacked three flight attendants after being denied alcohol while flying to a rehab has been spared jail.

Emma Langford, 47, had to be handcuffed and strapped to her first class seat when she was denied a Bloody Mary cocktail.

The court heard Langford flipped a tray of plates and glasses onto the floor, cutting one of the staff members.

She punched one steward several times and pushed and held another against the plane door.

The mother of two, who has had problems with alcoholism since 2007, had been on her way to stay at residential rehabilitation in South Africa for her alcoholism when she demanded six Bloody Marys within 15 minutes of taking off.

She rapidly became violent after she was refused more alcohol.

Staff had to throw a blanket over her head and handcuff her after failing to calm her down verbally.

She taunted them about the £8,000 return fare, asking if they could ever afford to pay for the luxury seats.

Prosecuting, Douglas Adams said: “They restrained her and gave her a violation notice to which she said “blah, blah, blah”.

“She was later carried out using the approved techniques but she struggled and the staff were helped by an off duty police officer.”

A crew member told the court in a statement: “She called me chubby and fat a**e. It was massively offensive and hurt my confidence. I felt humiliated in front of the whole cabin.”

An off duty police officer restrained Langford until the British Airlines flight arrived at Cape Town and the 47-year-old was carried off the plane and arrested by waiting police.

Langford, of Old Basing, Hampshire, had been going through a “difficult time” following the breakdown of her marriage, the court heard.

She admitted three charges of assault, one count of criminal damage, one of being drunk on an aircraft and threatening, abusive, insulting and disorderly manner towards cabin crew.

Judge Nicholas Wood sentenced Langford, who has drink-drive convictions from 2019 and 2009, to a total of 12 months in prison, suspended for 18 months, at Isleworth Crown Court on Friday.

In sentencing, he told Langford she presented a risk to the public and also ordered her to pay £1,000 compensation to three victims and £1,000 in costs.

Judge Wood said: “I have no doubt whatsoever there were passengers on that pane that were fearful of their lives and of what you would might do, on that alone this court is perfectly entitled to send you to prison today.”

“There is no exit route at 30,000 feet.”

“You became abusive to the crew and demanded alcohol, you had already been drinking before boarding the plane.”

“You were flying, ironically, to get cure and help your alcoholic addiction.

“You’ve had sever alcohol problems since 2007 and you have bipolar disorder. On the one had, being drunk on a plane is an aggregating feature of the offence, having bipolar might reduce your culpability.”

“You have fought back and fought hard and are now 129 days sober which is a feat in itself.”

Defending Langford, Guy Wyatt said her anxiousness about flying had “got the better of her”.

Mr Wyatt added: “She started to drink before she boarded the plane, tried to continue… lost control of herself catastrophically.”

“Through me, she apologises and expresses her contrition towards cabin crew, other passengers and all involved.”

Mr Wyatt said Langford, who has a bipolar diagnosis, suffered from a “catastrophic addiction” to alcohol, but had been in rehab and stayed sober since her release.

He added: “It’s striking that she was travelling to (South Africa) to book herself into residential rehabilitation.”

“She knew she needed it, she made enquiries and had been told that this particular clinic was best and was on her way.”

Mr Wyatt highlighted Langford’s “clean scores” from wearing a Scram bracelet, a device that monitors the wearer’s ingestion of alcohol, and that she was supported by a 24-hour sober companion in court.

Time in custody risked “destabilising” her recovery, which included attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, Mr Wyatt warned.

Judge Nicholas Wood said the decision to suspend the sentence was “borderline” but it was driven by the impact that custody would have on her recovery and children.

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