Nova Scotia

Drunken passenger jailed for 'vile' behaviour on transatlantic flight

A man has been sentenced to 30 days in a Nova Scotia jail for what a judge described as “vile and disturbing” behaviour on a 2018 flight headed for Cuba that was forced to divert to Halifax because of the passenger's conduct.

WARNING: This story contains graphic details

According to the written decision, when the flight crew refused to serve passenger Alexandros Moustakas more alcohol, his two travelling companions bought him additional drinks and slipped them to him. (Tom Clausen/Shutterstock)

A drunken airline passenger has been sentenced to 30 days in a Nova Scotia jail for what a judge described as "vile and disturbing" behaviour on a flight that was forced to divert to Halifax.

The Condor Airlines plane was en route from Frankfurt to Varadero, Cuba, on June 3, 2018, when three passengers became unruly.

The behaviour of one of those passengers, Alexandros Moustakas, prompted the pilot to divert the plane.

According to an agreed statement of facts entered at his sentencing in Nova Scotia provincial court in Dartmouth, Moustakas, 48, had brought liquor onto the plane and was drinking, despite being told not to.

When the flight crew refused to serve him any more, his two travelling companions bought him additional drinks and slipped them to him.

The court heard that at one point, Moustakas deliberately smashed his iPad. A crew member took it from him for fear the batteries could explode.

Threats of violence

At that point, Moustakas became verbally abusive.

"This dirty w---e, I hit her in her stupid foreign face. I don't care if I break her jaw," he said, according to an English translation of comments he made in German.

"As soon as we land on Cuban soil, I hit her in the face as there is no German law anymore."

Moustakas went on to make sexualized threats against the woman and also gave the Nazi salute. He grabbed a second attendant, pinned her arm behind her back and forced her head down to her knees.

When the announcement was made that the plane was diverting, Moustakas and his two travelling companions stormed the plane's galley to protest.

He snatched a drink that had been prepared for another passenger and downed it. He then returned to his seat, telling another passenger he would "finish" him when the plane eventually reached Cuba.

Judge says safety of crew and passengers was at risk

Despite the violence and the threats, Moustakas was only charged with two offences under the Aeronautics Act, not the Criminal Code.

"The vile infliction of sexualized verbal and physical violence against helpless and defenseless flight crew members, while in flight, thousands of miles in the air over the Atlantic Ocean, restricted in the small confines of an aircraft, with over two hundred passengers on board, is extremely aggravating as it put the safety and security of the flight crew and passengers at risk," Judge Frank Hoskins said in his decision.

The judge noted that Moustakas had no criminal record and he accepted a defence argument that he has poor impulse control and that condition contributed to his behaviour on the flight.

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