A mother and daughter from London attacked a Swiss Air pilot in the cockpit after a row over a buggy, a court has heard.
Henrietta Mitaiare, 23, and Mary Roberts, 53, were travelling from Zurich, Switzerland, to London Heathrow on 2 May 2019 when the alleged attack took place.
Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court heard how before the flight, Ms Mitaiare argued with staff after she was asked to put her child’s buggy into the hold of the plane.
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Arlene De Silva, Senior Crown Prosecutor, told the court: “The defendant, Ms Mitaiare, initially approached the manager about her bringing a buggy and questioning why she couldn’t have her buggy on the plane.
“When the flight landed at Heathrow she approached him again to get means of contact because she wanted to make a complaint.”
Cabin manager Ali Chkerdaa told the court: “She said the buggy was too expensive and she doesn’t want to put it in the hold.
“I said if it’s already labelled on the luggage we have to put it in the hold and I already told her the flight was fully booked and there was no space left anywhere.”
The buggy went into the hold, the court heard.
The court heard how the fight broke out when the flight landed in Heathrow.
Ms Mitaiare had approached Mr Chkerdaa for details of the gate agents she was arguing with, the court was told.
Mr Chkerdaa told the court he tried to give Ms Mitaiare his business card, but she didn’t accept it.
He added: “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’.
Mr Chkerdaa told the court how Ms Mitaiare started filming the argument when “the captain said ‘ok, we’ll have to stop it. Could you please step outside.'”
He added: “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 hand towards this side between her arm and shoulder.
“Then they started fighting.”
Mr Chkerdaa told the court how the pilot, Captain Guido Keel, was on the floor on his back trying to push away Ms Mitaiare.
He told the court: “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.”
Mr Chkerdaa enlisted the help of ground staff and the police to help break up the fight, the court was told.
The court heard how the pair both provided no-comment interviews when questioned by police but Ms Mitaiare gave a pre-prepared statement.
Ms Roberts, of Fulham south west London, and Ms Mitaiare, of west London, both deny the charges of assault by beating on Captain Guido Keel.
Additional reporting from agencies
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