A MAN has been jailed for six months after his drunken and abusive behaviour forced a pilot to divert a flight.

Karl Begley of Elmvale, Londonderry, was abusive towards cabin crew on a plane flying from Alicante, in Spain, to Belfast, on March 8.

His behaviour was so poor the pilot was left with no other option than to divert the flight to Stansted where he was arrested by officers.

Begley appeared at Chelmsford Magistrates' Court on Wednesday, April 10, after being charged with two public order offences, assault by beating and being drunk in an aircraft.

He admitted to using threatening, abusive words or disorderly behaviour likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress.

He also admitted assault by beating, being drunk in an aircraft and using threatening, abusive or insulting words towards a member of aircraft crew.

Stansted Airport Commander Superintendent Richard Phillibrown said: "Mr Begley's behaviour on this flight was completely unacceptable.

"His actions put himself, the crew and other passengers in danger and this custodial sentence reflects just how serious these offences are."

He was also ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £115 and £85 in court costs.