The man from the UK whose "absolutely disgusting" drunken behavior caused a WestJet flight to return and land in Calgary should pay the airline $ 21,260.68 – the cost of wasted fuel.
David Stephen Young, 44, pleaded guilty last week on charges under the Aeronautics and Criminal Law Act of failing to comply with security instructions and resist arrest.
"It's necessary to have some sympathy for the accused, but as with all criminal legislation, it is commonplace to say that the victim's voice should also be heard," provincial court judge Brian Stevenson said when pronouncing his sentence.
The victims, Stevenson noted, include the flight crew, passengers, WestJet and their shareholders, as well as police and CBSA officers, who were also at the end of receiving Young's address.
Young is an alcoholic but remained sober for 18 months until January 4, when he drank about six drinks while waiting to board his flight. The resident of the United Kingdom visited his mother in B.C. during the holidays and was depressed because of a death in the family and a failed marriage, according to the facts of the court case last week.
Once Young embarked on a flight to Calgary from London, he became aggressive with the flight crew and a passenger, and repeatedly tried to get up during takeoff to use the bathroom.
About an hour into Young's abusive behavior, the decision was made to turn the plane.
The pilot had to burn and then dump 20,000 pounds of fuel to land safely, according to the facts of the case, read aloud in court last week by prosecutor Lori Ibrus.
Ibrus had requested a $ 65,000 restitution claim, but Stevenson said he did not want the court-ordered payment to lead to Young's bankruptcy.
WestJet's total losses – which include the cost of fuel and compensation for its passengers – can be more than $ 200,000.
Week behind the bars
In a written statement read by his lawyer last week, Young apologized for his behavior and for the "damages and inconveniences" he caused to his fellow travelers.
Defense attorney Michelle Parhar has asked for a $ 5,000 to $ 8,000 restitution claim for her client.
Young also spent a week at the Calgary Remand Center before being released on bail.
It will be very difficult for Young to enter Canada again, Parhar said.
Once Young returns to the UK, "he is barred from entering Canada, prevented from seeing his mother in Boston," Parhar said.
Stevenson noted that WestJet could make a civil claim against Young if he wanted to try to recover more of his losses.