A woman from Merseyside, North West England, narrowly escaped jail time after creating a major scene onboard a flight from Manchester to Egypt. Bernadette Briggs, a charity worker, turned violent after getting drunk and attacked a Thomas Cook cabin crew member and a passenger.
As the airplane was about to start its descent from 20,000 feet, the 39-year-old stood up from her seat and began shouting and swearing. When air hostess Madison Preece requested her to stay in her seat because she was putting other passengers at risk, Briggs reportedly swore at her.
"I'll rip your f**king head off," she said before punching Preece in the shoulder. She also scratched Noel Johnston, a passenger, who was attempting to help the crew restrain her and then tried to bite the flight's captain.
The altercation continued after the flight landed and Egypt police were called to the craft. Police discovered an almost-empty bottle of Bombay Saphire gin under her seat that she had picked up at a duty-free store.
It was later discovered that Briggs, a mother of two, had drunk two pints of lager, two vodkas and a whiskey at the airport and followed it up with a Jack Daniels on the flight along with three quarters of the bottle of gin.
She was taken to an Egyptian hospital where it was determined that she suffered a "psychotic episode" from mixing anti-depressants with alcohol.
Briggs was banned from travelling with Thomas Cook and had to book a flight back to Manchester on another airline. She was arrested on her return and brought before a judge on 30 November.
"The behaviour of someone who is drunk in a confined flight where a plane is 20,000 feet above the air can cause irreparable harm and the safety of the plane can very badly be endangered," Judge Timothy Smith at the Manchester Crown Court Judge said, according to Daily Mail.
"You were described as being crazy, lashing out and being irrational. Some passengers described you as acting like a wild animal totally out of control. It is not surprising they say their holiday was completely spoilt."
The judge did, however, take into consideration that a large part of her outburst took place when the plane was not in flight and chose not to give her a jail sentence.
"Had it been in the air when this was happening over a persistent period of time, I have no doubt that, balancing matters as I am required to do, your sentence would have been one of immediate custody."
Briggs has been ordered to complete 250 hours of unpaid work and undergo 10 days of a rehabilitation activity requirement. She will also have to pay Preece and Johnston compensation of £300 each.