Vinnie Jones pleads guilty to air rage

LONDON: A court sentenced British football hardman-turned-actor Vinnie Jones on Friday to 80 hours of community service after he pleaded guilty to threatening and assaulting a male passenger on a flight in June. 

Magistrates also fined the 38-year-old former star of Wales and Wimbledon £800 and ordered him to pay £300 in costs. 

A charge of being drunk on board an aircraft was dropped against Jones, who since retiring from football has starred in gangster comedy films Snatch and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels – both directed by Madonna’s husband Guy Ritchie. 

Jones, who also played for Chelsea, Leeds and Sheffield United, pleaded guilty to two charges of using threatening, abusive or insulting words and common assault. 

“Vinnie Jones has received 80 hours community punishment and paid around £1,000 in fines (and costs),” said a statement read on his behalf outside the London court. “He regrets the incident deeply.” 

Prosecutor Gillian Travers had told the court that Jones had become “abusive, aggressive and physically violent” towards a male passenger who had interfered in his conversation with a female traveller. 

“Jones said ‘I am going to have you, I am going to have you killed’,” Travers said. 

Jones had been travelling in the first-class cabin of a Virgin Atlantic plane flying from London to Tokyo when the incident occurred on June 1. – AFP 

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