British Man Jailed After Shouting Homophobic Slurs At Flight Attendants

Another ugly airline incident, only this one involves gay abuse heaped on a flight attendant: John Hawkins of Merseyside, England, was on a Thomas Cook flight to the Canary Islands when the fellow in the next seat asked him to mind his language. Hawkins, who was traveling with his children, then became aggressive toward other passengers and started hurling anti-gay slurs at male cabin members.

After Hawkins, 32, was subdued, the pilot was forced to return to England, where Hawkins was arrested. Now Manchester Judge Jonathan Geake has sentenced him to eight months in prison, telling Hawkins:

“Your behaviour was grotesque, and completely outrageous. Your treatment of fellow passengers and the way you hurled offensive homophobic comments at cabin crew, and generally ranted, was inexcusable.”

We definitely think this guy should get punished, but eight months seems a little severe. Guess they don’t play around on airlines anymore.

Mr. Hawkin’s lawyer claimed his client—who’s had run-ins with the law before—was suffering from pain and reduced mobility stemming from an accident.

What, did he accidentally lodge his head up his ass?

Source: St. Helens Reporter via Pink News UK. Photo via Martin J. Galloway


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  • Mikel D McGrew

    The is no excuse for this behavior. Decent people in pain and discomfort do not begin to shout homophobic insults at anyone. Personally, I consider eight months just about right – but I would hope they would be combined with sensitivity training. Another option would be to have the man work in an AIDS ward for eight months. He certainly needs to have time to reflect on and repent of his actions.

  • Eight months?

    Some idiot makes a few insults on a plane and he gets eight months.

    Some religious cleric calls for “death for homosexuality” and he gets celebrated — and anybody who criticizes him gets time in prison for “inciting hatred against religion.”

    Gotta love British law.

  • Robert in NYC

    Eight months is sufficient.

    No. 2 Eight months?….In the UK, inciting hatred leading to violence against LGBT people by religious nutjobs invites prosecution too. Don’t you recall right wing homophobes like Michael Savage were banned from entering the UK based on his antigay hate speech, as was Fred Pehlps. If you recall, the “christian” couple who run a guest house in England were prosecuted for refusing a gay couple a room based on religious beliefs. They only wanted to accommodate married couples. They appealed and lost and have since tried to re-appeal but they won’t win. A religious registrar was also prosecuted for failure to administer a civil partnership for a gay couple. It works both ways. The UK has far better laws protecting LGBT people than we do.

  • JohnAGJ

    @Eight months?: It does seem odd, but I would imagine that this had more to do with disrupting aircraft operations than what he exactly said.

  • Caleb

    @JohnAGJ: I’ve got to agree. His outrageous behavior caused the plane to have to turn around, greatly inconveniencing other passengers and messing up flight schedules.

  • bonerland

    Well Thomas Cook airlines does have the gayest flight attendants.

  • Cam

    “We definitely think this guy should get punished, but eight months seems a little severe. Guess they don’t play around on airlines anymore.”


    1. No, you have to think about the actual damage the crime caused. How expensive is jet fuel? How many people on that flight lost a day out of their vacations, and including hotel costs, etc… how much money total was that? He could have cost overall hundreds of thousands of dollars in fuel and lost vacation time etc… How much would a theif who stole that much get?

    Oh, and 2, a state elected official wants to point out how absurd anty gay marriage legislation is and is sponsoring a bill against left handed marriage. The shock is, their actually a republican.

  • Nick

    In addition, I think should have to pay full restitution to the airline for costs incurred in fuel wasted, wages in productivity lost, and ticket costs reimbursed to the other passengers.

    I could have done without any prison time so long as he had to pay the tens of thousands of dollars instead. But hey, I am fine with the eight months too.

  • Jim Hlavac

    Don’t think of it as “8 months” — what he got was 1 day incarceration for each of the probably 240 people on board’s loss of a day, plus theirs and the airlines costs. Plus the lost of further revenues to the Canary Island which expected 240 tourists to spend money but did not. Plus, the cost of the public authorities necessary to quell the man. Plus, the inconvenience to every other jetliner in line to land or take off as this one returned to where it was not expected, and the attendant costs to their passengers now delayed.

    And then there’s the fear factor — who knows anymore what a raving lunatic on a plane will do? — what was the value of the fear that the rest of the passengers and crew thought as their plane made a return flight while this man was being subdued? I dare say a few pants had to be washed.

    I’d say the man should have gotten 8 years — as an example, to put an end to this “I’m the passenger in a tiny fragile tube and I can make any ruckus I want” nonsense.

  • [email protected]

    Instead of eight months, he should have been forced to pay for the aborted flight and compensate all of the other passengers for their wasted expenses.

  • dave

    The UK is the most politically correct country by far on the planet. In this case, gay men came out on top, but it’s not hard to think of a scenario where this hyper-sensitive environment could backfire on gays. Such as our very legitimate concerns about islam.

  • Sohobod

    Hardly ‘politically correct’. We have a Conservative government which is very anti that sentiment. However, bullying is not acceptable to Tories like me. Doesn’t matter whether it’s based on race or gender or whatever.
    Unfortunatly, it’s easy to view everyone with a right-of-centre viewpoint as though they are like the US republican nut-jobs.

  • JayKay

    LOL Europe. What a shithole.

  • Rooney

    Instead of eight months, airline personnel should be allowed to “stand their ground” and punch homophobes and drunks and other rabble making the already uncomfortable coach space hell, in the face. I’m not actually offended that he got eight months, I’m offended that this is about money and he got eight months, while when there’s actually a violent hate crime against lgbt the perps walk.

  • paul cundliffe

    I think that you all need to get over yourself. For one the flight was on its way back to the uk. Second you dont know johny so how can you realy coment. The fact that an
    over camp flight attendant(air waitress) overreacted to a man who is tall and a bit scary looking due to a major accident witch nearly cost is life. A passenger on the flight past coment to his 13 yr old daughter and being due heavy pain killers and not looking forward to the 4 hr flight back to the uk. So he overreacted to the other passenger not as much as the flight staff. He is now locked up away from his wife 10yr old son and 14 yr old daughter. He never struck anybody and didnt pose a risk to flight or passengers and should of had sombody with a lot more understanding and people skills. Who asnt been on a flight where one or more of the trolly dolleys s think they r so important ?

  • paul cundliffe

    We pay a lot of money to go on holiday and look forward to it, maybe for a year or more. So when you get premaddona staff what can you do. I mean realy, turn the flight back and put all the passenger in an anxious position. I mean realy ?

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