A drunk nurse dropped her baby on the floor of an airplane after a five-hour vodka binge that saw her and her partner arrested and thrown off the flight.
Beth Jones, 27, and Kieran Cunnah, 30, were so shaky after drinking duty-free drinks at the airport that Jones dropped her baby when Cunnah tried to put her on her lap.
Cunnah later knocked the baby out of her seat a second time as she walked past her, shocking fellow passengers.
A female flight attendant confronted the pair as they were taking their seats on the TUI flight, but Cunnah threw money at her and said, “How much do you want from us?” Were poor. How much do you want b***h?’
They were eventually escorted off the flight bound for Crete, as it was due to depart from Manchester Airport with 200 passengers on board.
Beth Jones, 27, from Ashton-under-Lyne, Greater Manchester, admitted to being drunk on a plane and child neglect on May 12 last year
Jones’ partner Kieran Cunnah, 30, who is currently serving 32 months for unrelated dangerous traffic violations, received an additional three months in prison
It emerged that the pair had been drinking heavily in the departure hall after their flight was delayed. The baby, whose exact age is unknown, burst into tears when she fell, but was not injured.
At Tameside Magistrates’ Court, Jones of Mossley, Ashton-under-Lyne, Greater Manchester and Cunnah, of Mickle Trafford, Chester, admitted drunkenness on a plane and child neglect.
Jones was ordered to complete 12 months community service, 20 days of rehabilitation activity and a 90-day alcohol abstinence requirement and was further fined £50 with £195 in costs and a victim’s allowance.
Cunnah, currently serving 32 months for unrelated offenses of causing serious injury by dangerous driving, was given an additional three months in jail and ordered to pay the court £100 in costs and a £128 statutory surcharge.
Eileen Rodgers, prosecutor, told the court that the couple had arrived at Manchester Airport around noon on Thursday 12 May last year, three hours before their 3pm flight to Crete.
After going through the security gate, they entered the Terminal 2 departure hall where they bought a bottle of Ciroc vodka, as well as a meal and other drinks.
However, when their flight was further delayed until 4:45 p.m., they went back to the departure hall and finished the bottle of Ciroc with mixers they also bought from the duty-free shop.
Beth Jones, a drunk mother who accidentally dropped her baby on the floor of an airplane, is pictured outside Tameside Magistrates Court
Ms Rodgers said: ‘When the pair boarded the flight later, a member of the cabin crew commented that they were both very drunk. They were unsteady and disjointed, so she told the rest of the cabin crew to keep an eye on them as she took them to row 28.”
She approached Cunnah and asked to see his boarding pass to confirm who he was.
“But instead he took notes out of his pocket and started throwing them at her, saying, ‘How much do you want from us? We’re poor, how much do you want b***h?'”
The cabin crew member informed the pilot, who alerted the police and delayed the takeoff. A dispatcher then arrived to tell the pair they would not be flying due to their drunkenness.
Ms Rodgers added: ‘As he left his middle seat, Cunnah was so intoxicated that he fell into the armrest in front of him. He then tried to pass the baby to Jones, but she dropped her, causing her to fall off the chair and cry.
“After she was picked up and placed back in the aisle seat, but not safely placed. As she exited the aisle, Cunnah walked past the baby and she fell to the floor again, shocking her and those around her.”
The pair continued to argue with cabin crew as they were escorted off the flight. Jones, who was “incoherent and repeating himself,” was eventually persuaded to hand the baby over to a police officer present. They were then arrested and taken to a police station to sober up.
In a police questioning the next day, both admitted to drinking. However, they denied any abuse or neglect of children. They also said they had no intention of causing any harm or arguing with staff.
In his statement, flight attendant Brian Wilson said: ‘It was the worst situation I’ve ever had to deal with, not just because they were drunk on a flight, but mostly because they were so unable to care for their own child.
“When I saw the kid fall off the aisle seat, I went down to pick her up, but then I felt Cunnah’s hand on my shoulder. They were very shaky on their feet, Cunnah even grabbed me to stabilize herself at one point.
To mitigate, Michelle Mann told the court that the couple were excited to go on their first post-lockdown holiday and had acted responsibly to begin with.
But Mr Cunnah said his whole family says ‘the holiday starts here’ when they’re in the departure lounge,’ she added.
Ms Mann said the couple were told the Departures bar was busy and a waiter advised them to order two drinks at a time. Mr Cunnah ordered two drinks in a row and Miss Jones ordered one.
They repeated this process, before returning to the bar again when their flight was delayed.
Ms Mann added: ‘They both realized their behavior was totally out of order and were angry that their holiday had been ruined. Miss Jones was hysterical at her arrest and had to contact her mother to collect her child.’
“This incident has had a major impact on her life. She has since resigned from her job as a nurse where she worked for 10 years. She knows she can no longer pursue a career in that field. She was valued in her work and held herself in high esteem. This one incident cost her dearly.’
“They are both ashamed and humiliated about what they did, and they have both repented.”
At the sentencing, the bench’s president told Jones, “It’s a disgrace that you end up in this position when you had a career and a job where you were valued and respected and lost everything over one stupid event.
“However, the protection of a child is very important and we have taken that into account.”