To exclude, to expel:
Former Corporal Steve Long, 39, was suffering from paranoia when he began expressing concern there might be a bomb on his Etihad plane home to the UK
Image: Clare Carrie)
The family of a British Army officer facing a £100,000 fine after he caused an Etihad flight delay due to a mental breakdown have questioned “how does the billion-dollar airline can live with themselves”.
Former Corporal Steve Long, 39, was left in Dubai until he spent all his money despite his family’s desperate pleas that he was mentally unwell.
The father of four from Stockport, Gtr Manchester, was on a three-week holiday in the UAE when he suffered a “paranoia” and told Etihad staff and passengers there could be “a bomb” on his flight She went home on January 28.
Steve served in Bosnia and Iraq during his 16 years in the Royal Mechanical and Electrical Engineers (REME) regiment, but there was never any sign of the effects on his mental health, according to the report. his family.
Medical experts now believe he has undiagnosed PTSD, and an episode of psychosis caused by the Houthi terrorist attack on an oil tanker in Abu Dhabi on January 17.
His devastated sister Clare Carrie, 37, has called on Etihad Airways to drop the charges against him, adding that her brother is “not a criminal”.
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Clare told the Mirror: “It could all have been prevented if they had only shown a little compassion and humanity towards him.
“I think the way he was treated was disgusting. He has been transferred to a prison which means his drugs may stop working and his life is in danger.
“He was not a criminal, he served his country and when he left the army he did public service in the ambulance service and tried to help others continuously.
“Etihad brought charges against him for the delay he caused because they had to search the plane to make sure there were no bombs.
“But he’s clearly not feeling well or thinking straight.
“I don’t know how they can live with themselves.”
On January 17, the Houthi terrorist group killed three people and injured six others after carrying out a drone attack on an oil tanker and an airport extension in Abu Dhabi. Dhaka. Steve was visiting friends in Dubai about 70 miles away at the time.
After the terrorist attack, Steve’s family said his behavior became erratic and distressing, as they began receiving midnight voice notes and messages fearing for his safety. he.
Steve decided to cut his trip short and booked a flight home from Abu Dhabi International Airport 11 days into his trip.
But his fear spiraled out of control at the gates, and he told staff he was worried there was a bomb on board.
He was arrested by local police, who attempted to issue a statement, but he was not in the right state to cooperate.
By the time his wife, Heloise and sister Clare were able to fly out, they said Steve had suffered from kidney disease from his long confinement and was barely able to get up.
Steve has now been charged with making ‘a false claim’ and ordered to pay a £100,000 fine or face jail despite his family begging a judge to review his mental health. he.
Clare was forced to set up a GoFundMe . page in an effort to raise funds before the April 6 deadline.
Meanwhile, Etihad Airways recorded passenger revenue of $1.07 billion last year.
Clare said: “We are an NHS family from Stockport. We don’t have that kind of money.
“I was a nurse and Steve was a paramedic after he left the army.
“We’ve always been close so it’s heartbreaking to see him go through this.
“If we were able to raise enough to save Steve, we still have to take into account that making an international transfer of such an amount would take up to five days, which means we really only have about 20 days to raise money. £100,000 ahead of time.”
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The Mirror has approached Etihad Airways for comment on their decision to uphold the charge against a passenger with mental illness.
A spokesman for the airline said: “We are unable to comment on an incident that is being investigated by a government agency.
“The safety and security of our passengers and staff is Etihad’s top priority.
“Any threat to safety or security is taken extremely seriously and handled according to strict protocols.
“Government investigations or prosecutions are handled by the relevant authorities, not by Etihad.”
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/brit-soldier-jailed-dubai-fined-26431722 Brit soldier jailed in Dubai and fined £100,000 after he said he saw bomb on plane