Man jailed for plane Tetris game
LONDON, England -- A newlywed man has been jailed for four months after playing a game of Tetris on his mobile phone during the flight back from his honeymoon.
Faiz Chopdat, 23, of Blackburn, Lancashire, was returning from Luxor in Egypt to Manchester Airport on September 10 last year when he was seen with his mobile switched on.
It is believed he was playing the popular game Tetris while sitting next to his wife, Manchester's Crown Court heard.
He had been warned twice by cabin staff and once by a passenger to switch off the phone, which triggered an argument during the Air 2000 flight on which there was 206 other holidaymakers and six cabin crew.
Chopdat was found guilty by a jury last month of endangering the safety of an aircraft and could have faced a maximum two year jail term.
Judge Timothy Mort, who passed the sentence on Tuesday, called for all mobiles to be confiscated as passengers board an aircraft.
He said the switching on of a mobile could prove fatal, causing the autopilots on aircraft to malfunction and also affecting the communications systems.
"Potentially, the consequences could be fatal. It seems to me that anyone who leaves a mobile phone switched on creates some risk and maybe the situation has been reached when we have to consider if mobile phones should be confiscated before transit," the judge said.
"You turned the mobile on three times and you were given clear warnings from the cabin crew," he added.
"The consequences were potentially very serious. I think this offence is so serious that only a custodial sentence can be justified.
"It must be in order to deter people from turning on their mobile phones while on a plane. It's a `clang of the gate' sentence."
Roger Hedgeland, for Chopdat, said his client was a young man with no previous convictions who was acting with "some sort of bravado" on his return from honeymoon and had become depressed since being arrested.
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