Court orders air-rage woman to pay cost of turning plane around

2012-06-05 09:05

A woman who punched a passenger and flight crew during a drunken air rage incident has been ordered by a court to pay the airline the cost of turning around.

Retired nurse Frances Macaskill (58), from Perth was on a Qantas flight from Melbourne to New Zealand on Saturday when she started abusing and punching passengers and crew.

The Melbourne court heard that even when restrained with flexi cuffs and tied down in a rear seat, she continued abusing people and bashing her head on the seat in front of her.

About 40 minutes into the flight the captain decided to return to Melbourne where she was arrested by police.

The woman had been seen drinking duty-free alcohol in the airport before she boarded. She pleaded guilty but said she had no memory of the incident.

The woman, a grandmother, was fined 3?500 Australian dollars (about R29 000) and given a suspended four-month jail sentence.

Magistrate Luisa Bazzani also ordered Macaskill to pay the 18?245 Australian dollars that the airline lost by having to turn the plane around, The Age newspaper reported.

The prosecutor said Macaskill had been involved in a similar mid-flight incident on a Virgin Australia flight last year.

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