'I will refuse to go to prison' - Man on run having been handed jail sentence
PUBLISHED: 17:01 18 February 2019 | UPDATED: 17:18 18 February 2019
A man who is on the run having been handed a jail sentence for being drunk on a flight last year has pleaded his innocence - and insisted he will not hand himself in.
Karl Foster, of Kings Road, Gorleston, was jailed for six months by an Isleworth Crown Court jury on Friday, February 15.
Having skipped bail, Foster was convicted in absence of being drunk on board a Gulf Air flight from Bahrain to Heathrow on February 2 last year.
But now the 37-year-old has contacted this newspaper to put his side of the story across, which he claims he has not been able to do.
He said the case had ruined his life and he was now “bouncing around the UK” to avoid going to prison.
Foster claims he suffered a mental breakdown on the flight having witnessed a taxi driver run over a pedestrian less than a month earlier in Delhi, India.
He insists he was not breathalysed on the flight and will “refuse to go to prison”.
However, he did not reveal his current location.
Foster said: “The fact is I had a mental breakdown flying home and was just exhausted from not sleeping for three weeks.
“I was haunted by what I witnessed and still have nightmares now.”
He has been on the run since jumping bail and failing to appear for his trial in London.
He claims he did not have enough money to pay for a place to stay and would have been homeless while the trial was taking place.
Foster had appeared via videolink at a pre-trial hearing, where he pleaded not guilty to the charge.
He asked: “How can I take action against the airline for failing in its duty of care?
“All because I had one pint in Bahrain? This is a waste of resources, money. It’s stupid.
“Someone has a mental breakdown on a plane and they are charged. Is that it?
“This is absolutely ridiculous. I spent three weeks in India after someone was run over in front of me by my taxi driver.
“I was tired, I was fragile, I had not slept for three weeks. They filled me with vodka and I had a meltdown.”
Foster was sentenced to an extra 14 days to run consecutively with the six months for breaching his bail.
This newspaper has contacted Norfolk Police to pass on this information.
If you have any information relating to Foster’s whereabouts, call police on 101.