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Drunk Businessman Hands Out Money to Passengers on a Plane Before Eating His Cell Phone Sim Card

Travelers Today       By    Katie McFadden

Updated: Sep 28, 2012 01:29 PM EDT

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It seems like getting excessively drunk before a flight never turns out well. A businessman who was highly intoxicated on a plane started to hand out money to passengers before destroying his cell phone and eating the Sim card.

According to the Daily Mail, Leon Quarless started drinking before boarding his flight in Palma, Majorca on June 24. He was so drunk on the flight to Blackpool, England that he started handing out €50 ($64) notes to fellow passengers. Rebecca Grant, one of the flight crew members noticed Quarless' strange behavior.

Quarless was sweating and he had a bag full of cash on his lap. Prosecutor Tracy Yates said he had thousands of bills in his bag.  Quarless then began to hand the euros and sterling to fellow passengers. Noticing how drunk he was, the passengers refused Quarless' generous gifts. He wasn't too happy about that. The 45-year-old businessman from Formby, Liverpool in England, started to curse and yell at the passengers.

Grant was one of the people who refused the money and recalls the man losing his temper in front of all of the passengers which included a couple with young children.

The flight crew notified the pilot about Quarless' behavior. He alerted police who took Quarless off the flight and arrested him when it landed in Blackpool.

When he was in the departure lounge, Quarless destroyed his cell phone and ate the sim card.

Richard Hughes tried to defend his client saying that Quarless got drunk after he was told that a close friend was seriously ill. He was in Palma visiting a group of friends. The group had given him the money, possibly as part of a poker game. When he got the news of his friend, he got on the first flight back home.

"He had been drinking as he did not intend to be flying that day. He regrets his behaviour and is embarrassed. The money he had was seized by the police," Hughes said, according to the Daily Mail.

Quarless, who runs a vending machine business, pleaded guilty to being intoxicated on the Boering 737 flight. Blackpool magistrates ordered Quarless to pay a fine that includes £320 ($516) with £85 ($137) costs and a £15 ($24) victims' surcharge.

"Your behaviour was nothing short of disgraceful. You will now be passing some of your money to the court rather than giving it away in planes," Magistrate Andrew Myers told Quarless.

Drunken shenanigans on flight are becoming more common. This week a male model, Arash Durrani got intoxicated and tried to force a woman to kiss him on a United Airlines flight. Durrani had to be restrained for the rest of the flight as he was out of control.

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