A drunk plane passenger violently lashed out at flight attendants when they asked him to hand over a juice bottle he had carried on-board, a court has heard.
Dominic Bol Bol, 29, behaved so poorly on the Tiger Airways flight from Sydney to Adelaide that the crew threatened multiple times to turn the plane around.
But he argued that the allegations against him were “all lies” and “not true” as Magistrate John Fahey on Wednesday sentenced him to six months behind bars.
Magistrate Fahey said Bol Bol was intoxicated and carrying bottles of alcohol and aloe vera juice when he boarded the plane on August 29, 2019.
“I don’t really know how it was you got on the plane while you were in that state,” he said in the Adelaide Magistrates Court.
After takeoff, Bol Bol blared music from his phone and attempted to speak to a woman sitting near him.
He also stood up, despite repeated requests from flight attendants to remain seated and turn off the music.
Magistrate Fahey said a flight attendant who asked him to hand over the juice was met with abuse.
“You were told then that if you were not going to behave then the aircraft may be diverted back to Sydney,” he said.
“Again you were asked to hand over the aloe vera juice.
“You refused, but, in any event, it was taken from you.”
Bol Bol loudly said to the attendant “f*** off, give me back my bottle”, stood up and walked towards the front of the plane.
He tried to move forward to the cockpit while continually asking for the bottle back, waving his arms, clenching his fists and pushing crew members around.
Magistrate Fahey said passengers stepped in to help block Bol Bol, before he targeted a cabin manager and crew member.
“You pushed the cabin manager and were acting in a threatening way towards him,” he said.
“Eventually a call was made to the Australian Federal Police and, when you arrived at the airport, you were taken into custody.”
Bol Bol later returned a blood-alcohol content reading of .240.
“That’s a very high reading and you were no doubt higher than that when you were on the plane, which no doubt explains your behaviour” Magistrate Fahey said.
The magistrate said a plane is a confined environment and passengers rely on each other to behave and respond to directions from the cabin crew.
“I can only imagine how frightening that must have been for the people on the plane,” he said.
“They must have been, I think, extremely concerned by your behaviour.”
Bol Bol has a history of failing to attend scheduled court appearances, and arrived 45 minutes late for the hearing.
He pleaded guilty to assaulting or threatening a member of aircraft crew, and was jailed for six months.
Magistrate Fahey said the behaviour was dangerous and “extremely alarming” and he refused to suspend the sentence.
Bol Bol, who has prior convictions for assault and trespass, looked shocked as he was led away from the dock by court staff.
He also pleaded guilty to offensive and disorderly behaviour in an aircraft and failing to wear a seatbelt during takeoff and landing.
For those offences, he was convicted but handed no further penalty.
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