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Man jailed after assaulting airline staff at Gatwick Airport

A man who assaulted airline staff on board his honeymoon flight to Egypt has been jailed.

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Michael Cunnett was also ordered to pay compensation to the two easyJet employees following the incident at Gatwick Airport on 7 February.

After being asked not to use his e-cigarette, Cunnett became aggressive and punched one of the crew in the face. When another member of crew attempted to intervene, he too was punched in the face.

The 38-year-old plasterer, of Tonstall Road, Epsom, Surrey, was escorted from the flight – which had yet to depart – and his aggressive demeanour continued outside, where he was arrested.

Whilst on route to custody, he repeatedly kicked the van, causing damage. He was further arrested for this.

At Lewes Crown Court on Tuesday (2 April), he was jailed for seven months for interfering with aircrew and ordered to pay £500 compensation to each of the two men he assaulted. He faced no separate penalty for criminal damage.

Sergeant Ian Hatcher, of the Gatwick Prevention Team, said:

“This sentence reflects the seriousness of the offences committed, and we’d like to make it clear that disruptive or abusive behaviour at Gatwick Airport will not be tolerated.

“Police officers and airline staff have a right to go about their daily duties without being subjected to abuse. Cunnett’s actions were completely unacceptable, and he was arrested and charged with a number of offences accordingly.

“One of our force priorities is to keep people safe and feeling safe, and anyone who compromises this will be dealt with robustly.”

Gatwick

Over a tonne of dangerous skin lightening creams seized at Gatwick Airport

More than a tonne of potentially carcinogenic cosmetics, including skin lightening creams, were seized at Gatwick Airport.

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West Sussex Trading Standards officers came to inspect the products after they were alerted by Border Force.

Officers noticed many of these brands had previously been found to contain hydroquinone – a banned substance linked to causing cancer.

Ten products were sent for safety testing and all failed. Eight contained hydroquinone and two were incorrectly labelled.

An investigation is taking place into the importer.

The products arrived into Gatwick Airport on 15 May 2019.

Peter Aston, Trading Standards Team Manager, said:

“Skin lightening creams containing hydroquinone that haven’t been prescribed by a doctor are banned in the UK, as they can cause serious side effects if used incorrectly. 

“Although some of the products detained listed hydroquinone as an ingredient, most did not and we must remind those using these types of products to only buy from reputable sources.”

Debbie Kennard, West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member, said:

“These products are very dangerous and have been linked to causing cancer and other skin diseases. I would like to thank our Trading Standards team for helping to put a stop to this unscrupulous trade.”

If you have been supplied with a skin lightening cream that lists hydroquinone as an ingredient, you can let Trading Standards know by calling the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 0405060 or by visiting www.westsussex.gov.uk/tsreport.

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