EasyJet passenger jailed for squeezing air steward’s bum and calling him ‘gay boy’ had 105 prior offences


An EasyJet passenger who was sentenced to six months in prison for squeezing an air steward’s bum and calling him a “gay boy” had 30 previous convictions for 105 offences, a judge has revealed.

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.

This week, Minshull Street Crown Court heard that Capps began causing trouble after drinking three cans of beer on the three-hour flight, after which he was cut off.

Capps grabbed 400 cigarettes from the duty-free trolley and hid them, then sexually assaulted the air steward by pinching his bottom as he was serving another passenger.

EasyJet passenger convicted 30 times.

At his trial, judge Bernadette Baxter revealed that the man had 105 prior offences for 30 previous convictions.

Although Capps’s lawyer, Rachel White, said that he had since “turned his life around”, Baxter was not convinced.

She said: “You have done exactly the same many times before. This time you were on an aircraft. In this circumstance, the situation becomes a lot more serious.”

“You verbally abused [the flight attendant] in a homophobic way then sexually assaulted him by grabbing his bottom.”

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 (May 25).

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.”

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

Judge Baxter said that the EasyJet air steward did not go to work to be “abused by people like you”.

Capps pled guilty to the charges against him and was fired from his job as a trawlerman as a result.

After his release from prison, he will have to remain on the sex offenders register for seven years.