Businessman ‘threw chocolate at passengers and attacked BA crew while intoxicated’

British Airways flight - Gareth Fuller / PA

British Airways flight – Gareth Fuller / PA

A “strong” businessman threw chocolate bars at sleeping passengers and tried to hit British Airways stewardesses during a “bizarre” drunken frenzy, a court has heard.

William Clegg, who was traveling in business class, also told cabin crew he would “go outside and see his friend” while the plane was still 38,000 feet up in the air, jurors were told.

Mr. Clegg, from Notting Hill, west London, is accused of assaulting five companions during the flight from San Jose, California to London Heathrow on 25 August 2019.

The 33-year-old, who regularly travels to work, is said to have taken two Ambien sleeping pills and an Imovane sleeping pill along with three glasses of wine and two bottles of Baileys in travel size.

Drag employee to the floor

The cabin crew was forced to hold him back after he tried to pull his T-shirt over the head of a female flight attendant before pulling another member of staff down to the floor.

Clegg, who wore a navy suit and a blue shirt at Isleworth Crown Court, denies five counts of assault by flogging.

Prosecutor Paul Edwards said Clegg suffered from epilepsy and insomnia and had a “strong job that involved traveling to different countries and staying for a short time”.

Edwards said: “On the flight, Mr Clegg took two tablets of zolpidem and one tablet of zopiclone. He also drank three glasses of wine and two bottles of Baileys.

“This led, the Crown would say, to him behaving bizarrely.

“He went up and down the aisle in business class.

Clegg used a vape

“He went to the galley, the kitchen area, and started throwing chocolate bars at passengers who were sleeping at the time. He said he wanted to go out to see his friend. He was told by a flight attendant that we were 38,000 feet inside. the air.”

When confronted by flight attendant Amy Stewart, Clegg responded by lifting her T-shirt and trying to put it over her head.

“He also used a vape during the flight,” Mr. Edwards.

The cabin crew decided to take Clegg to the back of the plane to try to hold him back. But Clegg grabbed the arm of companion Jamie Marsh and threw him on the floor.

Clegg was then flown to the back of the plane.

“It was after he was in the back of the plane that he tried to hit Amy Stewart with his head three times,” the prosecutor said.

When he was restrained in the back of the plane, Clegg allegedly shouted, “This is a joke, you do not know who I am, who do you think you are doing this to me?”

Employees Cieran Robert Smith and Franz Hartmann were also assaulted while holding Clegg, Edwards said.

He said Clegg hit Mr Robert Smith in the temple and kicked Mr Hartmann.

Carlie Titchner, a fifth attendant involved in holding Clegg, did not remember being assaulted by him, but later found out she had bruises on her arm.

Edwards said: “The main question for the Crown is, was the defendant ruthless when he took the tablets?”

The trial continues.

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