FIFO worker wrestles cop during Qantas flight

A DRUNKEN fly-in, fly-out worker's mid-flight behaviour was so bad that an off-duty police officer felt he had to step in.

Joshua Alan Turnbull then struggled with the officer, injuring the man's leg and knee while they were on board a Qantas flight with about 268 other passengers from Perth to Brisbane on October 17 last year.

Turnbull, 33, was returning to his Sunshine Coast home after a 28-day shift as a boilermaker when he became frustrated by flight staff after "misusing" alcohol, his defence solicitor Nathan Turner told Maroochydore Magistrates Court on Thursday.

Turnbull was arrested by Australian Federal Police officers who came into the plane at the request of the captain when it landed in Brisbane.

Mr Turner said his client had lost his boilermaker job after Qantas banned him from flying and had since started work installing commercial air-conditioning.

The court heard Turnbull had been arguing with airline staff and refusing to obey instructions when the police officer became involved.

Magistrate Rod Madsen said the anxiety felt by some people on board would have been heightened by Turnbull's behaviour.

"It's clearly something that would have been very distressing for people on that flight at the time," Mr Madsen said.

Turnbull was sentenced to three months in jail, suspended immediately for two years.

He was also ordered to pay $750 in compensation and $185 in reparations to the police officer as well as court costs.



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