A Kensington economist consultant has claimed doing a ‘judo sweep’ on a flight from South Africa to London did “not constitute assault”.
Hilary Diana Mackay, 54, pleaded not guilty to assaulting three member of cabin crew on a flight from Johannesburg to Heathrow on December 12.
Mackay claimed she wanted the “non-case” thrown out because she was “practising judo sweeps,” Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court heard.
She said: “I was practising judo sweeps so it wasn’t to target those three people.”
Mackay also had a dressing down by a magistrate after repeatedly interrupting court proceedings.
Duty solicitor Such Kahlon said he wished to speak to the court before Mackay came in because he was “up to his tether” dealing with her.
He said: “She’s saying it’s not assault by beating.
“She did a judo sweep on an airplane, which constitutes an assault because people were tripped up.
“She’s telling me the law, what she thinks it is.
“She wants to claim compensation from police.
“To be honest I’m up to my tether.
“I would like her to be told in legal court what the law is.
“She’s saying it’s not guilty but ‘I did do a sweep with my leg’.”
Mackay confirmed her Kensington address, date of birth and British nationality.
Prosecutor Zara Khan started to speak about withdrawing the first charge of being drunk on an aircraft but was cut off by Mackay who shouted: “Just a minute.”
Magistrate Evadne Cookman said: “This is now the time for the prosecution to speak.”
Mackay said: “I have the right to see the allegations put against me.”
Ms Cookman warned: “Do not interrupt the prosecution again.”
When the clerk read out the first charge of assault by beating, Mackay interrupted by referencing a paper that was dated the same date as the allegations.
She claimed as a result she “could not have been” on the flight.
She said: “The paper is dated December 12, the time is 4 o clock.
“I couldn’t have got a flight from Johannesburg, I couldn’t have done these things.
“It’s a non-case, I was not there.
“I have yet to see the witness statements of the persons name concerned.
“You could put any name down and say I have committed an assault.
“If I don’t know the name of the person concerned, then how do I know if I’ve assaulted them.
“I don’t know who these people are.”
Ms Cookman said: “We have heard what you have said.
“At this point in time, you are being asked a simple question, it’s a question of guilty or not guilty.
“At trial you will have ample opportunity to put across what your arguments are going to be.
“We are not going through the trial now.
“This is not your call, you do not decide what is a case and what is not.
“You have heard what I have said, you have heard what the legal clerk has said, and you have heard what your duty solicitor has said.
“What is your pleasure, guilty or not guilty?”
Mackay pleaded not guilty to three charges of assault but asked to see witness statements, which was allowed.
A charge of being drunk on an aircraft was withdrawn by the prosecution.
After a break, Mackay re-entered her pleas of not guilty and a trial date was set for next month at the same court.
She was released unconditional bail.
By Grainne Cuffe
Since you are here
Since you are here, we wanted to ask for your help.
Journalism in Britain is under threat. The government is becoming increasingly authoritarian and our media is run by a handful of billionaires, most of whom reside overseas and all of them have strong political allegiances and financial motivations.
Our mission is to hold the powerful to account. It is vital that free media is allowed to exist to expose hypocrisy, corruption, wrongdoing and abuse of power. But we can't do it without you.
If you can afford to contribute a small donation to the site it will help us to continue our work in the best interests of the public. We only ask you to donate what you can afford, with an option to cancel your subscription at any point.
To donate or subscribe to The London Economic, click here.
The TLE shop is also now open, with all profits going to supporting our work.
The shop can be found here.
You can also SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER .