Drunk and abusive Sheffield passenger ‘mortified’ at behaviour

Emma Tuttle
Emma Tuttle

A drunk and abusive Sheffield woman thrown off an aeroplane for ‘appalling’ behaviour has checked herself into rehab - and admitted: “I’m mortified.”

Emma Tuttle, of Penns Road, Heeley, was told by a judge at Sheffield Crown Court she had avoided jail by the skin of her teeth.

The 36-year-old had downed a cocktail of lager, a bottle of peach schnapps, anti-depressants and painkillers before boarding the Thomson flight to Tenerife from Robin Hood Airport in Doncaster on July 2 this year.

As she staggered down the plane steps, having been thrown off the flight, she raised a fist to an air stewardess and slurred: “Come on then, I’ll have you.”

After the hearing Miss Tuttle, who was in tears, said: “I’m mortified. Everyone in Sheffield knows about it. This rehab has got to work.”

The court was told the plane doors had been locked for only a minute when cabin manager Christine Lees was alerted to Tuttle’s ‘strange and volatile’ behaviour.

Neil Coxon, prosecuting, said: “She was shouting, she was swearing and she was gesticulating with both arms.

“Her behaviour appeared to be strange and volatile. The defendant was wearing sunglasses so the cabin manager couldn’t see her eyes, but Ms Lees detected her breath smelt strongly of alcohol.

“Ms Lees thought the defendant had either taken too much alcohol or medication. She asked the defendant about that and the defendant became aggressive and said, ‘It’s nothing to do with you what I’ve had’.

“Ms Lees asked the defendant to calm down and instructed the defendant she was going to have her removed from the aeroplane.”

The pilot alerted ground staff that a passenger was to be removed, and a set of steps was brought back to the plane.

Mr Coxon said: “The door was opened and almost as soon as that had been opened this defendant pushed Ms Lees out of the way. It was clear as she was disembarking that she was struggling to walk and Ms Lees thought she was going to fall down the stairs.

“At one point she raised her fist and, ‘Come on then, I’ll have you’.”

Tuttle was arrested in the terminal following her 20-minute tirade.

She pleaded guilty at magistrates’ court to being drunk on an aircraft.

Robert Sandford, defending, said Tuttle - who has a previous conviction for drink driving from March 2012 - had been accepted on a six-month residential alcohol dependency treatment programme.

She was sentenced to an 18-month community order and supervision and must pay a £60 victim surcharge.

Recorder Jeremy Barnett told her: “Miss Tuttle, your behaviour was appalling. You were very drunk on this flight, you insulted the staff and no doubt upset the passengers.

“You were quite properly taken off the flight and I have to commend the staff as they acted promptly and quickly.

“By the skin of your teeth you were very lucky you were taken off the aircraft and you have been very close to being locked up.”