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Ryanair Passenger Guilty of Sexually Assaulting Cabin Crew Member

Thomas Sleigh grabbed the crotch of a male member of staff after being asked to give up his illicit booze on a Manchester-bound flight from Murcia last autumn.

A Ryanair passenger who sexually assaulted a member of cabin crew could be facing up to ten years in jail, the Metro reports. The incident occurred last September when Thomas Sleigh, who was traveling with his wife and daughter from Murcia, Spain to Manchester, England touched a male steward on the crotch after being asked to relinquish his illicit supply of alcohol.

The paper reports that the unnamed member of cabin crew told Manchester magistrates court that he “was collecting the in-flight magazines and at some point became aware of a family drinking alcohol that wasn’t bought on board the flight sitting in seat 14F. After I confiscated the alcohol I was stopped in the aisle with the flight magazines in my hands. The defendant who was sat in 14D grabbed my crotch and flicked it in an upward motion.”

“The whole situation lasted about 30 to 50 seconds and he said to me: ‘Are you gay?’ I didn’t answer his question,” he said.

“I stepped back in shock and I said ‘Don’t ever touch me in that area ever again.’ The lady in 14F then said to me: ‘he’s only joking, he’s only joking.’ So I said do you think it’s a joke to touch me in that area?,” the member of crew added.

John Casson, a passenger seated near the Sleigh family, witnessed the incident and provided testimony to the court. “The defendant touched the steward in the crotch area in an uplifting motion with his left hand. The steward was clearly surprised and he said: ‘You can’t touch me there.’ The steward then turned and walked back towards the pilot end of the plane at which point the passenger said to him: ‘Are you gay?’” he stated.

Sleigh, who was arrested when the flight landed, has denied the incident. “My own son is gay. There is no way I would have called him gay. I didn’t make any threats towards the man,” he said.

However, Sleigh was found guilty of sexual assault and will be sentenced later this month.

[Photo: Shutterstock]

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