September 19, 2021

Ex-Virgin Airlines hostess attacked police officer when confronted about rail fare dodging

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Hannah Dyer, 35, (pictured) of Horwich, near Bolton admitted a charge of travel beyond the distance paid for on railway, common assault and threatening behaviour at Manchester Magistrates’ Court

A former Virgin Airlines air hostess went on a drunken rage and attacked a police officer in front of her three young children when caught fare dodging on a train. 

Hannah Dyer, 35, had been taking a late night passenger train from Leeds to Piccadilly railway station in Manchester with her three children, aged four, three and eight months, and an ex-boyfriend on April 29 this year. 

But after being found to have paid an insufficient amount for her ticket, she was approached by police in Manchester. During an altercation, she lashed out at one officer and tried to punch another in the face while demanding to leave the platform.

It emerged Dyer had been drinking strong cocktails earlier that afternoon during a ‘buy one get one free’ promotion after breaking off from a shopping trip in Leeds with her family to have lunch with a friend at a Turtle Bay restaurant.

At Manchester Magistrates’ Court, Dyer, of Horwich, near Bolton admitted a charge of travel beyond the distance paid for on railway, common assault and threatening behaviour.

She was conditionally discharged for 18 months after she said she had been on medication at the time. She has now gone teetotal.      

The incident occurred after Dyer, her ex-boyfriend and three children had gone on a family outing to the West Yorkshire city but used a return ticket from Huddersfield to Leeds instead of from Manchester.

The costs of an off peak return ticket from Manchester to Leeds is £14 but it is believed £7.60 was paid for each ticket.         

Dyer (left and right) was conditionally discharged for 18 months after she said she had been on medication at the time. She has now gone teetotal

As the pair’s three children aged four, three and eight months looked on, Dyer (pictured) behaved as if she was ‘possessed’ and had to be pulled back as she tried to manhandle the conductor

Dyer was confronted by police at Manchester Piccadilly train station (pictured). During an altercation, she lashed out at one officer and tried to punch another in the face while demanding to leave the platform

Prosecuting, Richard Greenhough told the court: ‘She only had a West Yorkshire day return which wasn’t valid all the way to Manchester. 

‘When she arrived at Piccadilly the ticket would be incorrect. There were two conductors on the train who told the defendant about her ticket not being valid.’

When confronted about the ticket however, Dyer accused one conductor of being ‘racist’ and repeatedly branded him a ‘f****** c***’.     

As the pair’s three children aged four, three and eight months looked on, Dyer behaved as if she was ‘possessed’ and had to be pulled back as she tried to manhandle the conductor.      

Mr Greenhough continued: ‘Ticket conductors tried to calm her down but they were unable to and at one stage she leaned towards one of them and he thought she was trying to grab him but her partner pulled her back. 

‘They described her behaviour as highly aggressive and said she could’ve been intoxicated as she seemed possessed.

‘When she arrived into Piccadilly police were there to meet her and by this stage it was the early hours of the morning. Two officers spoke to the defendant but she was saying: “I’ve had enough of this” and tried to walk off from the platform.’ 

Dyer (pictured) began fighting with police when officers were called to speak to her about the tickets

Dyer began fighting with police when officers were called to speak to her about the tickets.

Mr Greenhough said: ‘One officer put an arm out but she lashed out trying to punch him in the face which he blocked with his arm. 

‘The other officer then tried to calm the defendant down but she lashed out at him too trying to punch him in the face which was again blocked by the officer’s arm.’ 

She was only spared the indignity of being arrested due to her children being present but was ordered to attend a police station the next day.  

A probation report read to the hearing said: ‘Miss Dyer is very remorseful. On the day in question she was with her children and her ex-partner and they went shopping in Leeds. Her ex partner was looking after the children that day while she went and met an old friend for lunch.

‘She and her friend had food in Turtle Bay restaurant and it was a “buy one get one free” drinks promotion and she had four strong cocktails. She only has a very little recollection of the incident.’

The report added: ‘She used to work as an air hostess for Virgin Airlines and therefore has experience working in a customer service based job and has seen the other side. She appreciates her behaviour was totally unacceptable. 

‘She moved to Bolton from Dorset 5 years ago and split up with her partner 18 months ago but they have a good relationship and co-parent their three children.

‘He now lives in London so she does feel somewhat isolated up here. She has three children under the age of five. 

‘When her second child was born she started struggling with anxiety and went to see a counsellor who put her on anti anxiety medication.

‘She is not currently employed because she has young children. She has no financial issues and is on housing benefit. She admits she has been something of a binge drinker in the past but not in a long period of time though.

‘This was her first time drinking in almost three years and she hasn’t drunk since the incident and has no inclination to do so. She is ashamed of what she has done. She strongly understands victim empathy and regrets what she did that day.’

Dyer (left and right) was only spared the indignity of being arrested due to her children being present but was ordered to attend a police station the next day

Dyer (pictured) was also ordered to pay the two police officers £50 each in compensation plus £105 in costs and surcharges

Defence lawyer Mr Mumtaz Chaudry said: ‘She has never been in court before and she should not have been involved in this. She was out shopping with her ex partner and their three children. 

‘He had the ticket and therefore it was him who had the issue with the train conductors. She got involved when the conductor refused to update their ticket.

‘She suffers from post natal depression following the birth of her youngest. 

‘Dyer met a friend while out that day and has alcohol and the medication mixed with alcohol made things worse. 

‘She doesn’t know why she behaved that way but fully accepts responsibility. It was out of character for her. She is genuinely sorry. She gives no excuse.’

Sentencing JPs told Dyer: ‘You have definitely got yourself into quite a bit of difficulty here and you’ve put yourself squarely behind the 8-ball, so to speak. 

‘There are certain things you cannot do when you are on medication and doing such things can change your personality. 

‘As someone who used to work in the public sector you must have been embarrassed at what’s happened.

‘These offences could have ended up with you going to prison. However, we are going to go outside the guidelines which is not easy for us to do and take the recommendation of probation. 

‘Although this is a discharge it will be hanging above your head for 18 months. You will probably go through these 18 months without incident and that’ll be the end of it, although you will now have a record.’

Dyer was also ordered to pay the two police officers £50 each in compensation plus £105 in costs and surcharges.

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