A man on an easyJet flight was supposed to be on his way to Egypt, where he was set to celebrate his honeymoon with his bride. Instead, he has been handed seven months in jail after he drunkenly assaulted two flight attendants and went on a homophobic rant.
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Michael Cunnett of Epsom, England allegedly drank four pints of beer before boarding his 9 a.m. flight in February, according to International Business Times. Shortly before takeoff, Cunnett took out an e-cigarette, and flight attendant Andre Botha approached him to ask him to put the e-cigarette away.
Instead of complying, Cunnett started to call Botha homophobic slurs and punched him twice, the Mirror reports. “He didn’t know my sexuality, but I am a gay man and proud of it,” Botha told the court. “It is not a lifestyle choice, it is natural and no one deserves to be discriminated against for their sexuality. Many people struggle with it, and deal with mental health problems on a daily basis. His remarks to me were personal.”
A fellow flight attendant, Christopher Bogley, ran over to help and was punched by Cunnett as well.
The inebriated honeymooner was escorted off the flight as his wife shouted, “Look at what you’ve done. You have [f*****] off our honeymoon!” The flight’s takeoff was delayed by 45 minutes.
Cunnett appeared in court and pleaded guilty to four charges, including common assault, criminal damage and interfering with the performance of the aircraft crew. He was sentenced to seven months in jail and ordered to pay $1,316 in compensation to both victims.
According to the Mirror, David Forsyth, Cunnett’s lawyer, said his client was “fully aware that his behavior was reprehensible” and was “thoroughly embarrassed and ashamed.”
“It was like a child having a tantrum. You chose to drink four pints and to behave in a foul-mouthed, highly abusive manner,” presiding Judge David Rennie said during the trial. “Something of your true character did reveal itself … An attack on the perceived sexuality of these men was utterly shameful.”
“If he travels again, my hope is that he will treat people with respect and acknowledge that he lives in a diverse society which is something that should be embraced, not ridiculed,” Botha said in court.
The airline did not immediately respond to Yahoo Lifestyle’s requests for comment.
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