Marcus Croskell Defends Pilot

At Norwich Crown Court today, Marcus Croskell acted for a pilot from Hampshire that landed a commercial jet at Norwich International Airport whilst being over the legal limit.  Captain Jennings was a commercial pilot with an exemplary record with over 20 years experience in the industry as a pilot.  After flying a private jet from Palma to Norwich, he was stopped on the tarmac and breathalysed.  The police discovered there was 31mg of alcohol in 100ml of his breath.  This was three and half times the legal alcohol limit for flying.

It is an offence contrary to s.92 of the Railways and Transport 2003 for person to perform an aviation function whilst impaired by drink or drugs.  The limit in breath for a pilot is 9mg of alcohol in 100ml of his breath (20mg of alcohol in 100ml in blood).  This limit is very strict reflecting the responsible role an airline pilot plays.  For comparison, the limit for drink driving in the UK is 35mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath (80mg of alcohol in 100ml in blood).  

HHJ Holt sentenced Captain Jennings to nine months custody.  The Judge held that the public must have “100% confidence” in pilots operating in the UK.  He accepted that Captain Jennings had people lining up to praise his professionalism and skills as pilot and mentor including accredition by the FAA to their database.  Marcus Croskell was praised by HHJ Holt for the way in which he had put forward persuasive and powerful mitigation on behalf of his direct public access client.  However, in passing the custodial sentence, he followed the example discussed in court between the parties of a pilot sentenced at Leeds Crown Court by Mr Justice Coulson in 2013 for a similar reading.  He felt compelled to follow the High Court Judge’s approach in the circumstances.

The matter has been reported by the BBC, Daily Mail, The Guardian, The Mirror and ITV.

Marcus Croskell is part of East Anglian Chambers, a group of barristers who have offices in Ipswich, Norwich and Chelmsford. He also serves clients in Cambridgeshire and across the East Anglia region.  He is a specialist advocate that often appears in high profile and complex cases assisting parties obtain the best result in the particular circumstances of their case.

Barristers Norwich - Follow the link here for more information about our services or call 0843 886 2603 - Quote reference: MARCUSCROSKELL.COM