Two British citizens have been released from a US prison after pleading guilty to interfering with flight attendants and assault on a flight from Mexico to England that was forced to divert to the United States.
Brits Plead Guilty, Accept Fine To Avoid Longer Jail Sentence After Drunken Behavior Forced Flight Diversion
On January 2, 2023, a TUI flight from Cancun (CUN) to Manchester (MAN) took off with two drunk men onboard who were allegedly already intoxicated, Anthony Joseph James Kirby and Damien Jake Murphy.
After takeoff, the men became belligerent when denied more alcohol, then reportedly pulled out a large bottle of booze from their own carry-on bag to continue drinking. But it was more than just the illicit alcohol: the men were rowdy, making “racist” and “profane” comments toward other passengers and crew members (and apparently filming it as they were doing it). The FBI report notes:
“While the aircraft was over Florida, Kirby, Murphy and the third man made racist comments to the crew and passengers while filming their interactions with the crew and the other passengers with their cameras. The behavior caused the flight crew to change seats.”
The investigation revealed that Murphy assaulted a flight attendant while Kirby assaulted a passenger.
With the situation escalating rather than de-escalating, the captain elected to divert to Bangor, Maine (BGR) to offload the two Brits. Still visibly drunk, the men were laughing as they were escorted off the plane by six armed police officers. One allegedly got into a fistfight with another passenger.
Kirby and Murphy have sat in jail since the January 2nd incident, pleading guilty on February 2, 2023 to interference with a flight crew. Earlier this week, the two men were sentenced.
In what may be seen as a slap on the wrist, U.S. District Judge Lance E. Walker sentenced the men to time served and jointly fined them $26,589.12, the amount TUI requested in compensation for expenses incurred from the diversion.
Kirby and Murphy are out of jail and presumably on their way back to the United Kingdom after pleading guilty to interference with a flight crew and assault. The two spent roughly 2.5 months in prison and will be fined $26,589.12 collectively.
Is two months in jail and a measly fine a sufficient deterrent for drunken and disorderly behavior onboard that included assaulting both a passenger and a flight attendant?
> Read More: Flight Diverts After Drunken Passengers Pull Out Their Own Stash Of Alcohol, Serenade Cabin With Racist Profanity
the slammer time seenms about a month short. The fine is about $300,000 short.
Too bad they were not jailed in Mexico. In 2 months there they would have been married and probably even have kids. LOL!!!
Peak hooligan energy vibes from those two.
An additional penalty should have placement on a NO FLY LIST. I’m should TUI has them on an in house roster, but why no a US list since the crime was recorded as a US violation. Should there be a constitutional challenge, how about a Know Air Service Risk tracking number. Required for several years depending on the severity of the violation.
As a side note, how about some type of inebriation limit as airport lounges. Now that will cause an uproar!!! In the vast majority of situations, this is where the inebriation started.
I just don’t understand how the US had jurisdiction to prosecute them for a crime here. I’m not defending their actions, but I don’t see why they weren’t immediately extradited to the UK a day after the diversion. These people never intended to set foot in the US, yet went through the justice system here, took up resources, and ultimately paid a fine to the US Government (or State of Maine?).
No US interests were negatively impacted by their state of intoxication, so it just feels very extrajudicial to me. We essentially punished them just because we could. I’m curious what the outcome would have been if the captain would have chosen to divert to YHZ. Would the Canadian Government (or Prov. of NS) have tried to prosecute them, or would they have just sent them on to Britain the next day to be charged.
When in the air, it is the captain’s discretion to decide where to land the plane. Something happening on a plane will be dealt with by local authorities. If the on-ground altercation with a passenger happened, all the more reason to prosecute them under US law.
International law gives nations the right to control their own airspace. Airspace in the US is controlled by the US and the diversion of the plane and arrests are within the captain’s rights.
Hopefully they lost their jobs in the U.K. for such a long absence. Agree, NO FLY LIST – all airlines. It makes no sense to ban from one airline yet these lugheads can then just fly anyone else. We’re all sick of reading about these morons and all they trouble they cause for the airlines and other passengers.
What are the sentencing guidelines for this offense?
Typical English shaming us.worst race on the planet,its embarrassing