Gatwick Airport homophobic attack - easyJet welcomes jail sentence for abusive passenger who punched cabin crew

Low-cost airline easyJet has welcomed the jailing of an abusive passenger who punched cabin crew in a homophobic attack.

Wednesday, 3rd April 2019, 5:50 pm
Updated Wednesday, 3rd April 2019, 6:12 pm
Michael Cunnett (left) had been sitting on board a flight, waiting to fly to Egypt for his honeymoon. Pictures: Getty Images

Michael Cunnett and his wife were sitting on plane at Gatwick waiting to fly to Egypt for their honeymoon when he decided to try and smoke his e-cigarette, a court heard yesterday.

When politely asked to stop by airline crew he became aggressive and started attacking staff and shouting homophobic slurs.

Two members of air crew were injured in the nasty assault, in which Cunnett was swearing and calling people 'queer'.

easyJet has welcomed the sentencing

Cunnett, 38, of Tonstall Road in Epsom, had drunk four pints of Stella before getting on the flight, the court heard.

easyJet welcomes sentencing

Following the court hearing, a spokesman for easyJet said: “easyJet is pleased that the court has realised the seriousness of the offence which is reflected in the custodial sentence that has been imposed.

“Whilst they are rare, easyJet takes all incidents of disruptive behaviour very seriously. We have a duty to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all of our employees.

“Our employees are trained to assess and evaluate all incidents and act quickly and appropriately. We do not tolerate abusive or threatening behaviour and always push for prosecution.”

Judge: 'Attack on sexuality of the cabin crew is utterly shameful'

Judge David Rennie said Cunnetts’ abusive attack was ‘absolutely disgraceful behaviour’ and ‘like a child having a tantrum’.

He said: “We do have to ask what airports are doing selling alcohol at that time of the morning.

“Your attack on the perceived sexuality of the cabin crew is utterly shameful “The gay community is an integral part of our community. We are all one.”