Lee Jezard – drunk man sentenced for comandeering a plane

Lee Jezard – drunk man sentenced for comandeering a plane

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Introduction

Drunk people doing stupid things is always a good source of amusement. And sometimes a good source of work for the CPS in generating prosecutions. On 20th August 2014 a Mr Lee Jezard served up another example of this.

 

Facts

Mr Jezard was at Birmingham Airport for reasons unknown. He was very drunk, and all he was aware of was that he probably got a train there.

What was reconstructed was that he had swiped £36.45 of food from Caffe Nero (based on our experience this may have been a sandwich and a packet of crisps) for which he pleaded guilty to theft before heading for a baggage carousel. He climbed through this onto the tarmac before seeing an empty Lufthansa plane and boarded it.

When confronted by cleaning staff, he initially claimed to be the pilot. When that failed, he showed a level of drunken ingenuity claiming firstly that he worked for the navy, and then said that he was “ breaking into places to see if people can catch me – I go to prisons and other places’“. This failed to convince however, and he was in due course arrested.

 

What were the offences?

Theft is straightforward. The news states that there were three charges. We imagine that the other two related to the trespass onto the tarmac and then getting onto the plane.

There are a large number of offences relating to airport and aviation security (see here for a list and discussion document from ACPO if you’re bored).

As a guess, we’d go for trespassing in an airport (under the Civil Aviation Act 1982) and/or a bylaw offence under Airports Act 1986. Both of these are (probably) summary only and can only be dealt with by a fine.

 

What did he get?

A fine. In total he got £285 in fines, £185 costs and a £20 Victim Surcharge. The fines were three lots of £95 and so the surcharge is 10% of the fine or, if there are more than one, the largest fine (with a minimum of £20). That’s the reason why the surcharge is £20.

There was also compensation to Caffe Nero for the full amount.

 

Comment

If there was any suggestion that there was any nefarious reasons for this then in these days of heightened concern over terrorism, he would have been facing far more serious charges and years in prison.

However, Mr Jezard was a man of good character, and this was obviously someone being very drunk rather than trying anything more serious. For that reason, this seems a sensible way of dealing with the matter. He has learnt a costly lesson.

As has, hopefully, the airport as to how easy it appears to be to trespass in the airport … we are told that there has been a review of security and the gaps that Mr Jezard exploited have now been closed.

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Dan is a barrister at 2 Dr. Johnson’s Buildings practising in crime.

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