Honeymoon turns into nightmare for drunk British man hauled off plane in Bermuda

HAMILTON, Bermuda (REUTERS) - A British man headed to his honeymoon on a Cuba-bound flight found himself grounded in Bermuda after drunkenly threatening the flight crew, with his wife continuing on to Cuba without him, authorities in Bermuda said on Tuesday.

Mohammed Khelya, from Blackburn, Lancashire, had been drinking from a bottle of duty-free vodka before quarrelling with his wife on Monday when he was taken in handcuffs to the rear of the aircraft and forced its unscheduled landing, prosecutors said.

Appearing on Tuesday at a court in Hamilton, Bermuda's capital, a contrite Khelya pleaded guilty to being drunk on the aircraft and to threatening flight staff.

"I don't know how I'm going to forgive myself," he said in court. "I don't know how she's going to forgive me," he added, referring to his wife.

Khelya, 22, and his wife were among 311 passengers on board a Thomas Cook flight, which set out from Manchester International Airport.

Several hours into the flight, after his wife changed seats to get away from him, Khelya appealed unsuccessfully to a crew member to see her.

"I'm going to kill you and I'm going to kill everyone after," Khelya told a crew member, using an expletive, according to prosecutors.

As flight attendants moved a handcuffed Khelya to the back of the plane, he spat at other passengers, compelling crew members to use blankets to protect them, prosecutors said.

Diverted to the L.F. Wade International Airport, the flight was greeted by police officers, who escorted Khelya off the plane.

On Tuesday, Magistrate Khamisi Tokunbo fined Khelya US$2,000 (S$2,607) for being drunk on the aircraft and another US$1,000 for his abusive behaviour towards flight staff. If Khelya fails to pay the fines, he faces four months in a Bermuda jail.

An attorney for Khelya could not immediately be reached for comment.