A mine employee from Far North Queensland has been set free after police removed him from a plane for making threats.
The Australian Federal Police (AFP) confirmed fly-in fly-out employee Andrew Bartlett was removed from his January 10 red-eye flight because he allegedly made threats during his journey from Perth to Cairns.
‘Blow up the plane’
Officers claim the 45-year-old was swearing, talking about pornography with underage passengers, and threatened to “blow up the plane”. Seven West Media reported the man was drunk, said he would shoot a crying baby and invited unsupervised minors to watch pornographic material on his laptop.
The behaviour prompted passengers to complain to the Jetstar crew, forcing the aircraft to return to Perth Airport after taking off just an hour earlier.
Bail eventually approved
“AFP officers boarded the plane and arrested the 45-year-old man,” police said in a public statement. “He was charged with one count of threats regarding aviation security contrary to regulation 9.01(1) of the Aviation Transport Security Regulations 2005, and transported to the Perth Watch House, where bail was refused.”
Bartlett later appeared in Perth Magistrate’s Court where he was finally released on bail. QMEB can reveal he could face a criminal conviction, fine of up to $10,500 and even be sued to recover the airline’s losses from delaying the flight.
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Jetstar blamed the rowdy passenger for not following instructions.
“A passenger on one of our flights from Perth on Friday morning was allegedly disruptive and failed to follow crew instructions,” an airline spokesperson told QMEB. “Generally the safety of our customers and crew is always our number one priority and we have zero tolerance for any kind of disruptive or abusive behaviour on our flights.”
The court case continues.