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16 August 2019, 15:46
The man reportedly threatened cabin crew and almost caused the flight to be diverted
A man on board a TUI flight left his fellow passengers 'in tears' after attempting to start a water fight on board, it has been reported.
John Maxwell, 35, was on board the nine hour flight from the Dominican Republic to Manchester when the altercation happened.
He is said to have thrown water on nearby passengers, including children, then squared up to two airline stewards, saying: "Do you want trouble? what’s your problem? Who the f**k are you to tell me what to do?’".
The Mirror reports that nearby passengers were in tears, and that staff suggested diverting the plane from Punta Canta to the nearest airport.
Cabin crew and an off-duty policeman eventually managed to restrain the passenger using one of the onboard restraining kits, and he was arrested when they landed at Manchester airport.
He subsequently denied being drunk - claiming that eye witnesses had 'conspired against him'.
But airline steward Richie Warren said in a statement: "Mr Maxwell's menacing and aggressive behaviour left me feeling uncomfortable and anxious throughout the flight. He was clearly under the influence of something.
"Some children were crying and this is the first time that I have had to use the restraints in 21 years.
"It caused a lot of distress on board the aircraft and I am just grateful that other passengers have helped out. He should not be able to get away with this sort of behaviour."
He appeared at Manchester Magistrates Court, and faced up to two years in jail after being charged with being drunk on aircraft.
However, prosecutors accepted his guilty plea to the lesser offence of threatening behaviour under the Air Navigation Order 2016.
He was ordered to pay £400 compensation to Mr Warren, plus a further £205 in costs and surcharges.