Man fleeing jail for being drunk on plane ‘refuses to go to prison’

A man on the run after he was convicted of being drunk on a plane has said he ‘refuses to go to prison’, claiming a mental breakdown drove him to drink.

Karl Foster, 37, was found guilty by a jury of being intoxicated on a Gulf Air flight from Bahrain to London Heathrow on February 2 last year.

After denying the charge at a pre-trial hearing, Foster went on the run and was convicted in his absence at Isleworth Crown Court, where he was handed a six-month sentence on Friday.

The fugitive claims he suffered a mental breakdown after seeing a taxi driver run over a pedestrian in Delhi, India shortly before the flight.

Speaking to local media, he said: “I was tired, I was fragile, I had not slept for three weeks. They filled me with vodka and I had a meltdown.”

He claimed he had only had one pint in Bahrain, and was not breath tested on the flight.

Foster, who has not revealed where he is staying, added that the case had ruined his life and “refused to go to prison”.

He was sentenced to an additional 14 days’ imprisonment on top of the six-month jail term for breaching his bail.

by Tommy Lumby

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