Man Grabbed Flight Attendant's Crotch, Asked 'Are You Gay?'
A Ryanair flight attendant has claimed victory in court after an inebriated passenger was found guilty of sexual assault. The passenger, 45-year-old Thomas Sleigh, grabbed the flight attendants genitals and asked "Are you gay?"
Prosecutor Nicole Durham said that Sleigh was traveling back to Manchester with his family and his daughter on 7 September 2016.
Durham said that Sleigh had drunk three cans of beer before the flight, and that his daughter had been drinking alcohol not purchased on the plane.
When the victim approached the group asking to collect a can, Sleigh then “grabbed” and “flicked” his genitals, said prosecutors.
He was heard asking the victim “are you gay”, and then seen sticking his middle finger up at the attendant.
The victim, giving evidence in court, said: “I didn’t answer his question. I stepped back in shock.
“I said: ‘Don’t ever touch me in that area ever again’.”
According to Ms Durham, Sleigh’s daughter said, “he is joking”.
“So you think it’s a joke to be touched in that area? How would you like it?” the victim said.
Sleigh was arrested when the plane landed in Manchester.
Ms Durham told the court: “This person has been targeted because of his perceived sexuality.”
Sleigh claims the assault was accidental, saying he was resting his head in his hand and accidentally touched the flight attendant's groin.
He also says he didn't target the flight attendant for his sexuality because his own son is gay.
Sleigh faces up to ten years in prison and may have to register as a sex offender.