Men arrested after homophobic rant on flight

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Two passengers who were arrested after hurling homophobic abuse at an air stewardess have stood trial.

The defendants – James Dawson and Dean Lynch, from Liverpool – were flying home from a joint holiday with their partners and young children, when they were asked by a member of cabin crew to stop smoking.

After they argued with several members of staff, the men were arrested as they arrived at Liverpool’s John Lennon Airport – before hurling a torrent of homophobic abuse at both cabin crew and fellow passengers.

Sarah Gray, prosecuting, said the trouble began after a crew member on the easyJet flight smelled cigarette smoke coming from the toilet area of the aircraft.

The court heard a crew member then went to speak to Dawson, who was “upset” by the allegation and professed his innocence, reports The Liverpool Echo.

Witnesses say he appeared to be intoxicated and said: “Why are you saying I have been f****** smoking?”

The court heard at this stage Lynch tried to calm the situation and it was agreed that his friend would not be served alcohol.

However, later in the flight Lynch was involved in a separate altercation with crew member Claire Proctor, after he asked her to repeat the price of some drinks he had bought.

She repeated the amount in a “loud, clear voice” which upset Lynch, as he believed she was talking down to him.

Ms Gray said Lynch told Ms Proctor to “go and do her f****** job.”

She said: “For the rest of the flight Dawson and Lynch continued this type of behaviour, shouting and being intimidating towards Ms Proctor and Ms Pascual.”

After the flight landed the defendants were arrested, which caused Dawson to fly into a rage.

As he was led away by police officers, he hurled other homophobic and insulting remarks at the crew, which was witnessed by other passengers.

The pair pleaded guilty to using threatening, abusive or insulting words in an aircraft to a member of the crew, under Schedule 13 of the Air Navigation Order 2009.

The men were released on bail and will be sentenced on October 1.

Earlier this week it was announced that a police officer would be facing investigation, after footage of him using homophobic language and extorting a driver were posted online.