A New Zealand woman who behaved badly while flying to Bali on Air New Zealand has managed to avoid a jail sentence and instead received 300 hours of community service, 12 months of supervised release and ordered to undergo drug and alcohol counseling.
Tara Anne MacKay (28) received the sentence in lieu of jail from the Dunedin District Court in New Zealand for biting a female flight attendant and kicking another male steward in the testicles on an August 17, 2013 flight.
The New Zealand Flight Attendants and Related Services Association have criticized the punishment handed down by the court as too lenient, suggesting prison time was more befitting given the agressive criminality exhibited by MacKay.
MacKay admitted to the court that she assaulted flight attendant Susan Lawson-Hurst while intoxicated. In return for the admission of guilt the court did not pursue additional charges, including her assault on a male flight attendant.
Reports are that MacKay and her traveling companion were drinking on the flight when she began screaming, causing nearby passengers complained to the flight crew.
When asked to calm down, Mackay allegedly threw a drink at a female crewmember before locking herself in the airplane's bathroom.
Refusing to leave the airplane's bathroom, cabin crew forced open the door at which point the woman came out swinging, biting a female stewardess and kicking a male crewmember in the crotch. At this point, MacKay was handcuffed to a seat for the duration of the flight.
The final tally on MacKay rampage: Two bites and suspected hairline fractures to crewmember Susan Lawson-Hurst hands, a bruised testicles for a male crewmember and an “extremely frightening” experience for other passengers on the flight.
In mitigation, Judge Dominic Flately said Ms. MacKay was under the influence of alcohol during her rampage of bizarre behavior.
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