Flight Fright

Birmingham plane passenger jailed after chanting “boom” and terrifying flyers


38 year old Shehwar Sarwar scared passengers on a plane travelling from Dubai to Birmingham by chanting “Allahu Akbar” and “boom” upon landing. Some people were reportedly in tears. The man has been jailed for ten weeks after being prosecuted at Birmingham Crown Court.

There were a total of 347 passengers on the Emirates Boeing 777. Prosecutor Mr Alex Warren stated Sarwar was disruptive from the beginning by twice refusing to fasten his seatbelt and throwing food everywhere.

“There was terrible turbulence during the flight and some passengers were very frightened.

“The defendant started chanting Allahu Akbar over and over again and very loudly. People were getting very distressed with his behaviour.

“When the plane finally landed, he shouted ‘boom’.

“It left some passengers in tears while one man angrily confronted the defendant before being told to sit down by cabin staff.

“Police were then called and the defendant was arrested.”

Sarwar has a history convictions, some of them violent. Defending was Mr Balbir Singh, arguing, “There was considerable turbulence. One of the cabin crew, with 14 years experience, said it was the worse landing she had ever experienced.

“Mr Sarwar was scared during the flight. He prayed, chanting Allahu Akbar, which translates as God is Great. When the plane landed he did shout out ‘boom’.

“It was a very foolish thing to do and he can’t really explain why he said it. It was the height of foolishness.

“He is very sorry for his actions and realises what distress this caused to other passengers.”

Judge Francis Laird QC gave the statement, “You misbehaved and you were arrogant onboard. Incidents such as these on planes are taken very seriously by the courts and due to the circumstances I have no alternative but to send you to prison for 10 weeks.”

The troublesome passenger will also be placed on licence with a 12 month supervision order after release.


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