April 05, 2000 11:28am
Pair Fined for Being Drunk and Lewd on Dallas-Manchester Flight
(MANCHESTER, England) -- Two British passengers accused of being drunk and lewd aboard an American Airlines flight from Dallas were fined about $3,500 on Wednesday.
Amanda Holt and David Machin pleaded guilty to being drunk aboard the aircraft, and prosecutors dropped a second charge of violating public decency.
Holt, 37, and Machin, 40, did not know each other before boarding Flight AA110 on Oct. 1 for the 8 1/2-hour journey to this city in northern England.
Their case attracted huge publicity in British newspapers, and both were fired from their jobs. They had been returning from business trips to the United States.
Holt, a former telecommunications executive, was fined $1,599, and Machin, was sentenced to pay $1,987.
Prosecutors said other passengers complained that Holt and Machin, who were allocated adjacent seats, got drunk, fondled each other, and Holt's blouse and trousers were removed.
When airline attendants asked them to stop, they were dismissive, said prosecutor Philip Curran.
Curran quoted Machin as saying "We became a little over-familiar, that's all," after he was arrested at Manchester Airport.
Passing sentence, Judge Harold Singer said the pair had already suffered from publicity and considerable financial loss.
"We have an offense which caused offense to other passengers but not a danger," the judge added.
Holt, who left the court with her husband, said in a statement that her behavior "was a matter of regret."
Machin, through his lawyer, said his wife and three children had been humiliated and hounded by reporters. He asked for privacy to "rebuild a relationship I nearly threw away through my own drunken stupidity."