5 Jun 2012

NZ woman fined for bad behaviour on flight

10:58 pm on 5 June 2012

A woman whose drunken violence and foul language caused a New Zealand-bound Qantas flight to turn back has been ordered to pay the airline $A18,245 in costs for the disruption.

Frances Lillian Macaskill, a New Zealand national who lives in Western Australia, pleaded guilty to assaulting a passenger and behaving in an offensive and disorderly manner on the flight, which left Melbourne Airport on Saturday morning.

The 58-year-old was travelling to Wellington to see her children, AAP reports.

The Melbourne Magistrates Court was told on Tuesday she punched a male passenger in the face with a closed fist, causing a six-centimetre abrasion to the right side of his face and heavy bleeding.

The disability pensioner was also fined $A3500 for the assault and given a suspended four-month jail term for the offensive behaviour.

The court was told Macaskill had been penalised for a similar incident on board a Virgin flight in April last year. She was fined $110 for offensive and disorderly behaviour and smoking on board.

Magistrate Luisa Bazzani warned Macaskill on Tuesday that it was likely she would be jailed if she displayed similar behaviour on any flight in the future.

Qantas has banned Macaskill from its flights for at least 10 years.