Airline passenger jailed after drunken ‘Allah’ outburst on flight


Passengers feared that Turkish born Hamdi Yazici was planning a terrorist attack when he drunkenly got up and began shouting in his native language.

The 41-year-old had to be pinned down by six cabin crew after he staggered towards the front of the aircraft and threatened to hurt fellow travellers.

The Turkish Airlines flight from Istanbul landed at its destination at London Stansted Airport, where police arrested Yazici.

Prosecutor Mark Lakin said cabin crew initially managed to subdue Yazici after he became agitated and started shouting two hours into the flight on October 12 last year.

However, half an hour before landing Yazici stood up, donned his rucksack and began chanting ‘Allah’.

Mr Lakin said: “He was standing up, shouting in Turkish and was agitated. He’d put his rucksack on his shoulder and was making his way from his seat.

“One passenger described him as looking as though he was going to leave the aircraft notwithstanding it was still in the air.

“He was struggling to walk, staggering and shouting. Passengers were distressed by his behaviour and one heard the mention of Allah as he went.

“Cabin crew became involved with six people subduing him as he shouted ‘You can’t stop me, I’m English. If you let me go I am going to hurt you.’

“He was held down and straps were used to subdue him until the flight arrived and police were called. He was in a very drunken state.”

Defending, Maria Culling said her client had a drink problem and had downed whisky on the plane before his outburst.

She said: “He got into a position where he didn’t know what was going on. He cannot remember much about the flight. When he opened his eyes he found himself in hospital.”

Yazici, of Bromley, Kent, admitted a charge of being drunk on an aircraft.

Jailing him for four months at Chelmsford Crown Court, Judge Laura Harris told Yazici: “I am quite sure it was extremely distressing and alarming for those passengers.

“They didn’t know what you were planning to do when you started to walk down to the front. For all they knew you could have been a very dangerous man.

“Passengers have a special duty to behave on aircraft. It is confined up in the air and far more alarming and frightening than an incident on the ground.”