A Northern Territory man has been sentenced to 16 months in prison after a wild mid-air brawl on a flight earlier this year.
The 24-year-old was among four passengers arrested on the flight from Cairns to Groote Eylandt, off the east coast of the NT, on April 20.
At the time, police told news.com.au the flight was forced to first turn back to Queensland where a woman was charged before it took off again and another incident broke out, resulting in another three passengers being charged when the plane landed in Alyangula on Groote Eylandt.
A statement provided by the Australian Federal Police on Saturday evening said the 24-year-old man was sentenced in the Darwin Local Court on Thursday for assaulting fellow passengers and causing more than $7000 worth of damage to the aircraft.
“During the flight the man became aggressive towards passengers and airline staff before punching and damaging the aircraft,” the statement said.
“The man refused to follow the instructions of airline staff and assaulted fellow passengers.”
His charges included endangering the safety of an aircraft, committing affray on an aircraft, aggravated assault, disorderly behaviour and contravening a domestic violence order.
AFP Superintendent Greg Davis said the AFP would not tolerate disorderly or violent behaviour on aircraft or in and around airports.
“Police and airline workers are there to ensure the safety of passengers and it’s important for the public to treat everyone at the airport and on board aircraft with respect,” he said.
“Anyone choosing to behave poorly on an aircraft will be dealt with accordingly.”
To report an incident at an airport, you can call the AFP’s Airport Watch on 131 AFP (131 237).