London - A drunken electrician who called an air hostess a “f****** red-haired Nazi b****” and bit a fellow passenger on the arm for two minutes has avoided a jail sentence.
Joshua McCarthy, 21, was sitting next to his parents on a British Airways flight from Dubai to Heathrow in April when he became aggressive after drinking five small bottles of wine.
A court heard McCarthy “lost it” about 90 minutes from London and spat on fellow passenger Steven Cheek. The cabin crew got involved as he shouted “I’m going to kill you”.
When told to calm down by stewardess Hayley Morgan, he called her a “f****** red-haired Nazi b****”.
He then sank his teeth into the forearm of another passenger, Christopher McNerlin – breaking the skin and leaving a deep bruise – after the fashion industry worker intervened.
McCarthy, from Sidcup, Kent, was given a suspended sentence at Isleworth Crown Court for being drunk on a plane, assault and spitting.
Douglas Adams, prosecuting, said: “The flight was full of families and young children returning from the Easter holidays.
“The defendant was sat next to his parents. With around 90 minutes of the flight remaining, the crew were bringing around breakfast boxes and that sort of thing.
“A short time later the passenger in the seat in front said he felt uneasy when McCarthy started waving his hands at a young black woman waiting by the toilet with her baby.
“He says he shuffled in his seat to make it known that he had noticed the defendant knocking into his seat. He says he turned and looked at Mr McCarthy and then looked forward.”
Mr Adams said at this moment, McCarthy spat in the passenger’s hair. Miss Morgan then urged him to sit down but was sworn at, before Mr McNerlin intervened and was attacked.
Mr McNerlin said he had “received an incredibly vicious bite”, adding: “Despite wearing a jumper, it broke my skin.” He said he had been unable to have sex with his girlfriend for a month over fears he may have been infected. Mr McNerlin posted pictures on social media of the bite mark, along with one of himself giving the “thumbs up” as he sat in the cockpit once the plane had landed. He wrote: “That time when you help restrain and handcuff a nutter at 40 000ft. He bites you, but it’s all okay because Captain Kendal lets you sit in the cockpit.”
Miss Morgan said she had trouble sleeping since the attack, adding: “I cannot be alone around men, or be in the presence of drunk men.”
Sentencing, Judge Sandeep Kainth told McCarthy: “Your behaviour with respect to what took place was absolutely disgraceful.
“Firstly, you were intoxicated to such an extent that a member of the public aboard that flight had to intervene to assist the crew. Second, there were families present. Thirdly, there were young children present as well.
“The bite lasted for two minutes, which is quite substantial. With regard to the spitting, that is outrageously disgusting. You’ve let yourself and your family down.”
McCarthy was given two months in prison for spitting, nine months for being drunk on an aircraft and four months for assault.
The sentences are to be served concurrently, and were suspended for 18 months. He was also ordered to pay compensation totalling £650 (about R12 000), costs totalling £400 and was ordered to carry out 220 hours of unpaid work in the community.
McCarthy thanked the judge as he walked free from court.