Friday, September 15, 2006

UK Film Director Jailed After Air India Flight Rampage

A film director has been jailed for four months following a drunken, violent and racist rampage on a flight (Air India) from New York to Heathrow on April 15.
Brian Cook, 63, of Boxmoor, who worked on films including Stanley Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut, was drunk when he boarded the much-delayed flight at JFK Airport.
Prosecutor John Hulme told Isleworth Crown Court in west London: "He took an aisle seat next to Abdul Hadi Popalzi and began talking to him, asking in an aggressive manner where he came from.
"He said he lived in London but eventually said he came from Afghanistan. This defendant then started making extremely derogatory remarks about Afghanistan.
"At one point Cook, who had been talking about terrorism, turned to him and said 'If you take this plane down I'll kill you and stab you in the neck' and he brought his right hand in a fist and hit him in the back of the neck with a stabbing motion.
"One of the passengers was so concerned she suggested to cabin crew that they remove the plastic knife and fork used for the meal, from him.
"Eventually a passenger with some experience of security volunteered to sit next to him and keep an eye on him," said counsel.
But that did not stop him urinating in the aisle when he found the toilets occupied.
Police met the Air India flight at Heathrow and Cook was arrested denying any bad behaviour.
Cook, of Roughdown Road admitted being drunk on an aircraft and racially aggravated common assault on Mr Popalzi and was jailed for four months.
15/09/06 Hemelhempstead Today, UK
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