Skip to main content
Press Release

British Nationals Sentenced for Interference with Flight Crew, Assault during Flight Diverted to BGR

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Maine

BANGOR, Maine: Two men from Manchester, England were sentenced in U.S. District Court in Bangor today to interference with a flight crew and assault. The charges stem from an incident on a January 2, 2023 TUI Airways flight that diverted to Bangor International Airport (BGR).

U.S. District Judge Lance E. Walker sentenced Anthony Joseph James Kirby, 36, and Damien Jake Murphy, 36, to time served. They had been in custody since their arrest on January 2. They were also ordered to pay $26,589.12 in restitution. They pleaded guilty on February 2.

According to court records, Kirby and Murphy were passengers aboard a TUI Airways flight traveling from Cancun, Mexico to Manchester, England. While the flight was in U.S. airspace, the FAA received a report that two passengers had repeatedly interfered with members of the flight crew and flight attendants. After repeated warnings from the captain, the flight diverted to BGR with agents and officers from the FBI, Federal Air Marshal Service, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and Bangor Police Department responding.

The investigation revealed that Kirby and Murphy had become upset after being told they would not be served any more alcohol. The pair then retrieved a large bottle of alcohol from their carry-on luggage and continued to drink, becoming increasingly intoxicated. Despite repeated warnings, the two men continued to be belligerent, including using racial slurs. At one point Murphy assaulted a flight attendant, and Kirby assaulted a passenger. TUI Airways LTD incurred $26,589 in costs and expenses due to the unscheduled landing at BGR.

The FBI, Federal Air Marshal Service, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and the Bangor Police Department investigated the case.


Edited 03/15/23 to correct Bangor International Airport IATA code to BGR


Joel Casey, Assistant United States Attorney (207-945-0373)

Updated March 15, 2023