EasyJet passenger jailed after squeezing an air steward’s bottom and called him a ‘gay boy’


An EasyJet passenger has been sentenced to six months in prison for squeezing an air steward’s bottom and calling him a “gay boy”.

Gavin Capps, 51, was convicted of one count of sexual assault and one count of threatening words or behaviour while on a flight from Manchester to Iceland in January last year. He was travelling to work on a fishing trawler.

The court heard Capps began causing trouble after drinking three cans of beer on the three-hour flight. He went to the front of the aircraft to get more alcohol but was refused.

When the duty free service reached him Capps grabbed 400 cigarettes from the trolley and hid them under his seat. He then sexually assaulted the air steward as he was serving another passenger.

The flight attendant felt the defendant “take hold of his left buttock and squeeze with a lot of force. He could feel his fingers between buttocks”, said David Calder, prosecuting, in court on Monday.

When challenged, Capps began shouting: “You are gay, saying that I touched your bum,” and “You are not British if you think that is sexual assault.”

The victim alerted the captain who contacted police. He was followed to the front of the aircraft by the defendant, who took pictures of the cabin crew on his mobile phone, saying: “The gay boy is getting me arrested for sexual harassment.”


The defendant was arrested when he returned to the UK (JOEL SAGET/AFP/Getty)

Icelandic police apprehended Capps on arrival in Reykjavik and he was arrested on his return to Manchester Airport in March last year.

In a victim impact statement read to the court, the air steward said he felt “humiliated and embarrassed” by the assault, which was witnessed by many other passengers, including children.

The EasyJet air steward defiantly told Capps he “didn’t go to work to be abused by people like you”.

The judge considered the assault to be more serious because it occurred in a confined space. She also noted that this wasn’t the first time Capps’ drinking had landed him in trouble, as he has 30 previous convictions for 105 offences, the most recent offence being for battery.

Capps pled guilty to the charges against him and was fired from his job as a trawlerman as a result. He has since found work as a fish filleter.