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Man charged in mid-flight disturbance sentenced
Julia Parrish, CTV Edmonton
Published Monday, February 4, 2013 12:20PM MST
Last Updated Monday, February 4, 2013 6:59PM MST
Although court proceedings in the Leduc Provincial Law Courts faced a few delays Monday, a Calgary man charged after a flight from the United Kingdom to Calgary was diverted to Edmonton was given his sentence.
The charges stem from an incident on Aug. 20, 2012, when a Calgary-bound flight from London’s Heathrow airport was diverted to the Edmonton International Airport, over an intoxicated man causing a disturbance.
CTV News learned at the time that a disgruntled business-class passenger had caused minor damages to the plane – in addition to sexually assaulting a female crew member and assaulting another passenger.
The crew and some passengers had to subdue the passenger.
Frank was arrested by RCMP without incident when the plane touched down.
Justin Frank, 36, was charged with assault and mischief under the Criminal Code, along with failing to comply with crew member instructions under the Canadian Aeronautics Act.
Frank pleaded guilty to the charges in Nov., 2012.
On Monday, court heard how Frank had been drinking heavily during the flight from London – before he became belligerent, punching an onboard TV monitor and touching a flight attendant.
Court documents showed Frank had refused to sit down in his seat, despite being told to do so several times.
Provincial Court Justice Marilyn White handed down Frank’s sentence late Monday afternoon.
While doing so, Justice White told Frank the offence was “very serious,” and disagreed with the defence, who had asked for a conditional discharge, saying the “court must make it very clear, behaviour like this will not be tolerated.”
Frank will serve a one year suspended sentence on the assault and mischief charges and must pay a $4,000 fine under the Aeronautics Act and restitution to Air Canada – totaling $15,200, for damages, fuel and crew costs.
In addition, Frank will have to report to a probation officer, complete 25 hours of community service and stay away from establishments that serve alcohol.
After he was sentenced, Frank read a letter of apology, in which he expressed remorse for his actions and their repercussions.
With files from Susan Amerongen
Justin Frank outside of Leduc Provincial Court on Monday, Feb. 4.