Woman admits endangering flight to Turkey

A woman who allegedly tried to open the door of a passenger plane midway through a flight to Turkey has admitted endangering the safety of an aircraft.

Chloe Haines, 26, of High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, caused the Jet2 flight to be diverted back to Stansted Airport on June 22.

She appeared before Chelmsford Crown Court on Monday where she pleaded guilty to endangering the safety of an aircraft and to assaulting cabin crew member Charley Coombe.

Haines denied a charge of drunkenness on an aircraft.

Barrister Oliver Saxby, for Haines, said there was “no question that she was drunk” but that the charge of endangering the safety of an aircraft was the “more serious alternative”.

She was bailed to return to the court on January 24 for sentencing.

The defendant, who wore a long black coat and had her blonde hair down to her shoulders, wept throughout the hearing.

Mr Saxby told the court: “On any analysis, she’s a troubled young person with a number of serious issues.

“Seventeen days before this incident, she had been sentenced to a community order for not dissimilar offences, not committed in the air but with alcohol and a loss of control.

“That order had not had a chance to bite.”

He said that she had “to her credit engaged more fully with Alcoholics Anonymous”.

Mr Saxby asked for a pre-sentence report to be prepared about the defendant, giving the judge “more information on her current situation, this offence having happened some six months or so ago”.

Two RAF fighter jets were scrambled to meet the plane, which had been heading to Dalaman, and escort it back to Stansted, where Haines was arrested by Essex Police upon landing.

On board the flight, a cabin crew member allegedly suffered scratches as she tried to prevent Haines from opening the plane door.

Judge Charles Gratwicke, bailing Haines, warned her that “all sentencing options remain open”.

Her bail conditions include that she does not travel from any UK airport.