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Passenger jailed for disruptive conduct on two flights

Weeze, Germany – August, 31st 2013: Sunny summer day at airport Weezewith airplane of Ryanair on runway. People are boarding in bow of airplane.

By: Eastern Eye

A PASSENGER who unleashed a series of racist and misogynistic verbal attacks towards women on two flights to Britain has been sentenced to 14 months in jail.

Mohammed Shiraz Riaz, a 42-year-old father of three, insulted a female cabin crew member using derogatory language during a flight from Marrakesh, Morocco, to Liverpool John Lennon airport.

Although he was apprehended and released on bail for legal proceedings, Riaz, employed as a car valeter, managed to book a subsequent flight to Istanbul. On the return journey to Manchester, he aggressively directed a barrage of sexist and racist insults at cabin crew, fellow passengers, law enforcement, and female airport staff, reported the MailOnline.

Riaz, from Dewsbury in West Yorkshire, had 30 charges related to alcohol-fuelled violence, which encompassed incidents such as assaulting police officers and engaging in drunken disorderly behaviour.

When he was removed from the plane, he abused a female Border Force official, saying: ‘You f***ing b**** I bet you didn’t get your leg over last night. You need a good s**g.’ ‘No wonder it’s so easy for us to rape your white children – you’re all a bunch of p******. You f***ing s***s, fat-a*** c****.

White woman are easy to rape. White children are easy to rape because white men are p******,’ he is reported to have said when being placed in a police van.

The first incident occurred on July 15, 2019, when Riaz was flying into Liverpool from Morocco. According to cabin attendant Jelena Zuravska, the trouble began when he demanded more alcohol.

She said in her statement she maintained professionalism during the incident, suggesting that he sit down and have something to eat.

At that point, she made the choice not to serve him any further alcohol to prevent escalating the situation.

However, he initiated a personal verbal attack on her, asking offensive questions and using derogatory language. It was evident to her that he had a strong aversion towards women, she said. His behaviour included shouting and screaming, creating a sense of impending physical confrontation.

As his aggression and vocal abuse intensified, other passengers intervened in an attempt to diffuse the situation. One passenger even expressed a desire to confront him on her behalf, she said.

Zuravska revealed that Riaz used the safety announcement she made during the descent as “an opportunity to further humiliate” her.

The crew were eventually forced to move other passengers from seats near Riaz.

Upon the police officer’s attempt to restrain him following his removal from the plane, he bit the officer on the arm.

During the police interview, he mentioned taking Tramadol and two ibuprofen tablets alongside alcohol. He asserted that the accusations against him had been overstated.

On January 2, 2021, Riaz’s second unruly behaviour incident happened as he made his way back to Manchester from Istanbul.

During the flight, his actions included dancing, refusal to wear a mask, punching seats, and boxing in the aisles, said Mark Pritchard, prosecuting. The plane carried 120 passengers, mostly families with children.

Upon landing, police were present, and Riaz was handcuffed and taken through Border Control. He displayed inappropriate behaviour in front of young children, Pritchard added.

According to him, Riaz’s verbal abuse extended to a female border officer, along with spitting and swearing during his transportation in a police vehicle.

At the police station, his disruptive behaviour necessitated immediate placement in a cell, preventing the standard booking process.

“He recognises there is no excuse for his behaviour and describes himself as behaving like a ‘dog’. He is very embarrassed by his actions on these two days,” Riaz’s defence counsel Ella Embleton said in mitigation.

“His underlying problem is alcohol. When he has one drink he goes on to binge-drink and he gets carried away. The behaviour he displays when he is intoxicated is not reflective of the man he is when sober.”

The court was played police bodycam footage of the incident at the airport.

Riaz, who was not charged with any racially aggravated offences, was sentenced at Manchester’s Minshull Street crown court last Wednesday (1). He attended court through a video link from prison following a warrant issued due to repeated non-appearances, citing Covid.

During sentencing, judge Joanne Woodward noted that the sustained and highly abusive conduct he exhibited had caused distress to others. She added that the level of verbal abuse, particularly in the presence of families and young children, was “at the highest end”.

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