A woman and her mother are accused of attacking a Swiss Air pilot.
A woman and her mother are accused of attacking a Swiss Air pilot.

Biting and kicking: Mum and daughter ‘attack’ pilot

A mother and daughter are accused of attacking a Swiss Air pilot in a cockpit after being told to put a pram in a plane's cargo hold.

Henrietta Mitaiare, 23, is alleged to have shoved the captain and accused him of being racist before sinking her teeth into his arm, The Sun reports.

Her mum, Mary Roberts, 53, then kicked him as they struggled on the floor, Uxbridge Magistrates' Court, west of London, heard.

Ms Roberts also allegedly bit the cabin manager on the finger as he stepped in to try and break up the fight before police were called to Heathrow Airport.

At their trial, co-pilot Friedrich Preiler, who was completing paperwork in the cockpit when the fight began, said: "It was like a battlefield, there were shoes on the floor and some buttons.

"I saw some hair and two telephones. I saw blood on the captain's neck. I saw that he had scratches.

 

A woman and her mother are accused of attacking a Swiss Air pilot.
A woman and her mother are accused of attacking a Swiss Air pilot.

 

"I saw that the pilot's shirt was full of blood. I saw on the hand that there was more blood."

Ms Mitaiare, who was on a flight home from Switzerland, clashed with staff manning the gate at Zurich Airport after being told she had to put her child's buggy in the hold.

She claimed it was "too expensive" and rowed with workers until finally accepting it had to go in, the court heard.

But it wasn't until the flight landed in the UK that the fight kicked off.

Ms Mitaiare approached Ali Chkerdaa, the cabin manager, and demanded the names of the two women on the gate to make a complaint.

When the captain intervened to give his name, she told him he had "nothing to do with it" and pushed him back into the cockpit.

While the two were "tussling" on the floor, Ms Roberts pushed past Mr Chkerdaa shouting "get off my baby" before kicking the captain while he was down.

Despite efforts from the pilot and ground staff, the fight couldn't be broken up until police officers arrived.

The court heard how the pair both provided no-comment interviews when questioned by police but Ms Mitaiare gave a pre-prepared statement.

Mr Chkerdaa also told the court how he was bitten by Ms Roberts when he tried to step in.

Wearing his Swiss Air uniform, he said: "It was a back and forth - 'give me the name, give me the name'.

"I thought, OK, I'm the flight manager I will give her the business card - 'If you have a problem or you are not happy you can contact Swiss and they will know exactly who was on this flight on the ground'.

"She didn't accept my business card. Then the captain came beside me and said 'you have already the name of the person if there is a problem you can write to Swiss.'

 

The fight kicked off when the plane landed in London, the court heard.
The fight kicked off when the plane landed in London, the court heard.

 

"She said 'Sorry you have nothing to do with it, stay away.'

"She said 'Swiss people are racist' - it's because she is a black woman travelling with a child.

"I think she was holding the phone with one hand and the captain said 'OK, we'll have to stop it. Could you please step outside.'

"The moment he touched her she went all crazy, 'don't touch me.'

"I don't know if he touched her, but he put his had towards this side between her arm and shoulder."

Mr Chkerdaa said they then "started fighting".

"She was going to the face, because she is shorter, and the neck with one hand and the other hand was holding the phone," he said.

"He was laying on his back and she is not on top of him but on the side and he was pushing her away with his hand.

"The mother pushed me to the side and went inside saying 'leave my baby alone.' She was kicking, with the feet. One foot maybe.

"They were both on the floor but I think she was trying to kick the captain.

"There was ground staff from London, I asked him to help me so we could pull her out but we couldn't."

Mr Chkerdaa said eventually the police needed to be called.

"I couldn't pull her out so I asked him to call the police and in the meantime there was a woman working as ground staff and she came to help me," he said.

"When they were fighting she (Ms Roberts) bit me on my finger but we were able to pull the jacket on top of her head. Because we could not pull her out from the cockpit."

Ms Roberts, from Fulham in southwest London, and Ms Mitaiare, from Kensington in west London, both deny the charges of assault by beating on Captain Guido Keel.

The trial continues.

This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission



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