A man from Wallsend has narrowly avoided a jail sentence after sexually assaulting an Newcastle airport worker before going on to abuse plane staff on the aircraft.
Paul Clark was with a group of 22 men waiting for an easyJet flight to Alicante in September of last year, when he was asked to calm down after it was deemed by a member of the airport staff that he was being too rowdy. Instead of listening to the instructions, the drunk 41 year old groped the female member of staff and carried on acting in an inappropriately boisterous manner.
The married father-of-one was deemed to be too drunk to fly when he boarded the plane but did not take the news well when he was asked to disembark, proceeding to verbally abuse the staff on-board the aircraft, terrifying his fellow passengers.
A court heard heard how Mr Clark told police officers to “f**k off” and said “I’m going to f*****g kill you”, when they arrived at the scene.
He was eventually restrained but his actions meant that the plane was delayed for around one hour.
Mr Clark has been sentenced to eight months in custody, suspended for 18 months following the incident.
Judge Robin Mairs said,
You, either to impress or amuse the group you were with, groped her [the victim].
You thought it was a joke. There’s no humour in groping other people.
The days are gone when a man like you can grab women because they thought it was fun and, if they didn’t see the fun in it, it was their fault.
It’s a sexual offence, committed by sexual offenders, which is what you now are.
Clark, who has no previous convictions, feels remorseful for his actions. This statement was made on his behalf,
He recognises now the incident has had a profound affect on the victim. He accepts he would never be able to apologise to her in person but he would like me to place it on record that he’s sorry for the harm he caused her
He has been put on the sex offenders register for 7 years and is banned for life from Newcastle Airport.