A man has been handed a seven-month custodial sentence, after a homophobic assault against EasyJet cabin crew members.
Michael Cunnett and his new wife had been travelling to celebrate their honeymoon when the incident occurred, onboard the EasyJet flight from London’s Gatwick airport to Egypt.
Hove Crown Court heard that Cunnett, who had been drinking prior to the altercation, lashed out at cabin crew members when he was asked to stop smoking an e-cigarette.
According to Brighton’s Argus, Cunnett used homophobic slurs before punching the two flight attendants, Andre Botha and Christopher Bogley.
Cunnett, of Hove, was arrested and charged with assault.
EasyJet Flight attendant: No one deserved to be discriminated against for being gay
EasyJet flight attendant Christopher Bogley told the court: “He didn’t know my sexuality, but I am a gay man and proud of it.
“It is not a lifestyle choice, it is natural and no one deserves to be discriminated against for their sexuality.
“He didn’t know my sexuality, but I am a gay man and proud of it.”
— EasyJet flight attendant Christopher Bogley
“Many people struggle with it, and deal with mental health problems on a daily basis. His remarks to me were personal.
“If he travels again, my hope is that he will treat people with respect and acknowledge that he lives in a diverse society which is something that should be embraced, not ridiculed.”
Cunnett denied he holds homophobic views, but admitted interfering with the performance of cabin crew, two common assaults and criminal damage.
Judge: It was like a child having a tantrum
Judge David Rennie handed him a seven-month custodial sentence and ordered him to pay £500 compensation to both victims.
The judge said: “It was like a child having a tantrum. You chose to drink four pints and to behave in a foul-mouthed, highly abusive manner. Something of your true character did reveal itself.”
An EasyJet Airbus A320 commercial plane with registration HB-JXF is landing at Geneva Airport on March 22, 2019 in Geneva. (FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty)
He added: “An attack on the perceived sexuality of these men was utterly shameful. People like you find yourself on the edge of society.
“Only an immediate custodial sentence can be justified.”