"One has to feel some sympathy for the accused," a Canadian judge said Tuesday before ordering an unruly WestJet passenger to pay $16,000 in wasted fuel costs as a result of a rerouted flight. David Stephen Young of Britain had been sober for 18 months when the 44-year-old alcoholic, troubled by a family death and failed marriage, consumed six drinks before his London-bound flight out of Calgary on Jan. 4, reports the CBC. Shortly after takeoff, he became belligerent, forcing his way into a locked washroom while the seatbelt signs were turned on.
Turning back, the pilot had to dump 20,000 pounds of fuel to near the maximum amount for a safe landing. Young, who spent a week in custody, apologized for the "damage and inconvenience" last week while pleading guilty to failing to comply with safety instructions and resisting arrest. Provincial Judge Brian Stevenson said the sentence intended "to send a message to the general public about what will happen if they break the law in a similar fashion," per the Calgary Herald. WestJet's losses are estimated at $200,000, including the cost of passenger compensation. (A man got a nine-year prison sentence for a mid-flight sexual assault.)