A drunken plane passenger threw a punch at a stewardess at 30,000ft and was rugby tackled to the floor after she asked him if he was smoking in the toilets.

Guy Lardinois, a Belgian national who lives in Istanbul, Turkey, was on his way to Manchester for a funeral when the altercation happened on Thursday, December 1.

He was approached by the stewardess on the Turkish Airlines flight TK1995 from Istanbul, Manchester and Salford Magistrates' Court heard.

The 40-year-old, who had drunk four gin and tonics, denied he was smoking and asked for another drink before returning to his seat, the Daily Mail reported.

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Prosecutor David Lees said the defendant then started arguing, shouting and became abusive before getting out of his seat and moving to the rear of the plane.

Sitting by the 24-year-old stewardess he asked her: "Do you know what I'm going to do to you? You're f***** up."

Lardinois then threw a "glancing blow" at the stewardess but missed as she put her hands up to her face, the prosecutor said.

"Another passenger then rugby tackled the defendant and knocked him to the floor", Mr Lees added.

Several other cabin crew rushed over to assist their colleague and Lardinois suffered a broken leg, the court heard.

The defendant was arrested by police at Terminal 1 when the plane landed at Manchester Airport 30 minutes later.

Lardinois pleaded guilty to common assault and being drunk while on a flight.

He was handed a six-month custodial sentence suspended for two years and was ordered to pay a £600 fine.

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He must also pay £100 compensation, a £115 victim surcharge and £85 court costs before he leaves the country.

The chairman of the bench told Lardinois: "The fear you put the stewardess and passengers through on that aircraft is not acceptable."
Matthew Corn, defending, said Lardinois is "deeply ashamed" and wanted to apologise to the airline crew and passengers involved.

He said the father of one, who works as a contract manager, had been travelling to Manchester for the funeral of a company director and his drinking had exacerbated his already "sombr" mood.

Mr Corn said his client also suffered a below the knee break in the incident and is now concerned he may lose his job.

He added: "This is so out of character he is utterly ashamed of himself. He's let himself down by his foolishness on this flight."