Stag party groom says behaviour that brought down plane was unacceptable

A groom has described the actions of some members of his Hampshire stag party who became involved in a mid-air brawl, causing the flight to be diverted, as 'unacceptable'.

Tuesday, 1st March 2016, 8:20 am
Updated Tuesday, 1st March 2016, 8:24 am

Joshua Mariner, 26, was travelling with 11 friends on a Ryanair flight from Luton to Bratislava, Slovakia, on Saturday, when the fracas broke out causing the pilot to divert to Berlin, Germany.

Six of the 12-man group from Southampton were arrested by German police and charged with air safety offences which carry a maximum fine of 25,000 euros (£19,650).

In a statement Mr Mariner, a self-employed ceiling and partitions specialist, said: “The lads’ behaviour was unacceptable and they will now have to suffer the consequences of their actions.

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“It was reported by German police that I was one of the lads arrested which isn’t true and I will be seeking legal advice as it has caused a lot of distress for me and my family.”

It has been reported that Mr Mariner is due to marry fiancee Abi Whitmore in March.

Video footage obtained by The Sun shows a passenger standing up, swearing and confronting another man, who is sitting down, before throwing a punch at him.

The man standing up is heard to say: “I’m not afraid of you, I swear on my mother’s life. You’ve done it now. Why shouldn’t I batter you in the face?”

He continues: “I would rather stab you in the face with a fork. No disrespect to you, but I hate you.”

Fellow passengers are seen to be upset by the fracas, with one woman holding a baby asking them to calm down.

The video finishes as a member of the cabin crew asks the man recording the incident to stop filming.

A German police spokesman said that six men, aged between 25 and 28, were detained and charged with offences under the Aviation Security Act which could bring fines of up to 25,000 euros (£19,650).

He added that they could face civil action from the airline.

The spokesman said that after establishing the identity of the six men, they were released by police.

German police said: “Six young men behaved so badly that a pilot excluded them from a flight. This resulted in an unscheduled landing at Berlin Schonefeld and regulatory offence charges.

“Border police came aboard the plane and the offences were reported.

“The group of young Britons were part of a stag party travelling from London to Bratislava on a Ryanair plane. During the flight six of the 12 men posed a risk to the safety on board and ignored the instructions of the crew.

“The pilot of the plane, which carried 170 passengers, decided to perform an unscheduled landing at around 20.30.

“At the airport Berlin Schonefeld the intoxicated men from Southampton were met by border police.

“The police officers made regulatory offence charges according to air-safety law against the 25 to 28-year-old men. The men could face fines of up to 25,000 euros.

“In addition to this, civil legal action might be taken by the airline.”

A spokesman for the German police said that the video of the incident would be examined to see if a criminal offence had been committed.

Chief Inspector Thorsten Peters said: “What you see on the videos would be assault and insult but we have to see if the people in the video are also the people whose details we have recorded.

“There will probably be a few witnesses but there is the fact that you remain innocent until proven guilty.”

Mr Peters said it was not known how long it would take to determine whether the six men detained would be fined for the air safety offences, or how much.