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Airline Passenger Sentenced in Groping of Male Attendant

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Friday May 29, 2020

Gavin Capps was on an easyJet flight to Iceland in January of 2019 when his antics proved disruptive to flight attendants. Then Capps went too far. He's now been sentenced to six months after pleading guilty to sexual assault for having grabbed a male flight attendant's buttock, reports UK newspaper the Manchester Evening News.

Prior to the groping incident, the newspaper report said, Capps got out of his seat and went to attendants to demand alcohol. He had already consumed three beers, reports said.

The attendants instructed him to return to his seat, but later in the flight, the report said, Capps snatched cigarettes from a duty-free cart.

Then came the inappropriate grab of the male flight attendant's backside, as the attendant was serving someone else. When the attendant confronted Capps about it, Capps initially said that he had contacted the attendant not with his fingers, but with his elbow. Capps then called the attendant "gay" for challenging him over the groping.

More disruption followed, the report said, with Capps taking out his phone and photographing the plane's interior after walking to the front of the cabin. Capps declared to the passengers present that, "the gay boy is getting me arrested for sexual harassment," accounts said.

Capps reportedly also addressed the male flight attendant with the words, "you are not British if you think that is sexual assault."

The British courts disagreed.

Capps hails from Grimsby. A local news source, GrimsbyLive, said that Capps had been a trawlerman, but lost that job following the groping incident. Capps then took on work as a fish filleter, the GrimsbyLive article said.

News reports noted Capps' long police record of 105 offenses, including assault.

The groping incident was the first assault of a sexual nature on Capps' record, reports said.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Assistant Arts Editor. He also reviews theater for WBUR. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.

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