A man from Elephant & Castle who bit a police officer after being arrested for shouting racial abuse on a plane has been convicted of assault.
Sussex Police officers responded to reports of a disruptive passenger on an easyJet flight from Faro to Gatwick Airport on 18 May.
Having been asked to sit down and put his seatbelt on as the aircraft prepared to land, the defendant became aggressive towards cabin crew. He also used a number of expletives, of which some were racially aggravated.
Police boarded the aircraft at Gatwick and the man was identified as 44-year-old Kieran Croxley from the Draper Estate at the Elephant & Castle.
The officers asked him to follow them, at which point he again became abusive and started swearing. As they attempted to arrest him, Croxley bit one officer's hand and dug his nails into the arm of another, causing the skin to break. And while being transported into custody, he attempted to bite a third officer.
He was subsequently arrested and charged with using threatening or abusive words or behaviour likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress; behaving in a threatening, abusive, insulting or disorderly manner towards aircraft crew; and three counts of assault on an emergency worker.
At Crawley Magistrates' Court on Thursday 26 September, Croxley pleaded guilty to all five offences.
He was sentenced to 16 weeks' imprisonment, suspended for 24 months, and ordered to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work.
He was also ordered to pay a £900 fine, £450 costs and a total of £325 in compensation to the officers he assaulted.
Inspector James Biggs said: "This sort of behaviour is completely unacceptable. No member of aircraft crew, nor their passengers, should have to experience such abuse. Nor should any emergency worker expect to be assaulted for simply carrying out their duties.
"This case should serve as a reminder to passengers of their responsibilities before they board an aircraft. Incidents of drunken and disruptive behaviour will not be tolerated, and anyone who compromises this will be dealt with robustly."
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