Leeds man who took a selfie with plane hijacker exposed himself on a stag do
A Leeds man who famously posed for a photo with a hijacker on an EgyptAir flight has been convicted of indecent behaviour while on a stag do in Edinburgh.
Ben Innes, 29, is originally from Oakwood and hit the headlines in 2016 when a 'suicide bomber' hijacked a plane he was travellling on. Innes, then 26, posed for a selfie with the man in the cabin and the image went viral around the world.
Now the former oil worker, who is believed to have attended Roundhay School, has appeared in a Scottish court after exposing himself to five women while on a stag do.
The former Roundhegians RUFC rugby player dropped his trousers in Edinburgh city centre after the group refused to let him eat some of their takeaway food.
Innes, who had been drinking for 17 hours, then proceeded to urinate in the direction of the women who were sitting down in a doorway during the incident in November last year.
The disgusted women quickly moved away from the area and called in the police. The “severely intoxicated” health and safety executive was soon picked up by patrol officers and he spent two nights in a cell before appearing in court. He pleaded guilty at Edinburgh Sheriff Court last week.
Prosecutor Mark Keane said the women had all been out socialising together and had just left a nightclub when they encountered Innes at a chip shop in the city’s Rose Street at around 2.30am.
Mr Keane said: “One of the women noticed the accused and said he had a nice coat. The accused did not respond. They got their food and sat down in a doorway and the accused sat down beside them. He tried to take some food and was asked to leave.
“He stood up, undid his belt and exposed his penis and started to urinate.”
The horrified group of women then got up and moved away before calling in the police.
Solicitor Liam Kildare, defending, said his client had started drinking with stag do pals in Newcastle at 9am the previous day. He said Innes had encountered the women after he became separated from his group in Edinburgh city centre and following his arrest had spent two nights in custody.
The brief added: “Clearly this was an unpleasant incident and the women should not have to put up with this kind of behaviour and Mr Innes accepts that.”
He added the health and safety manager is currently unemployed and “is very ashamed of his actions” that night.
Sheriff Peter McCormack ordered Innes to pay a £720 fine.
Innes was among 62 people on board the EgyptAir domestic flight from Alexandria to Cairo when it was seized by a man who threatened to blow it up in March 2016. He was hailed a hero after a snap of him cheekily posing for a photo with suspected bomber Seif al-Din Mustafa went viral. The hijacker’s ‘suicide belt’ was later revealed to be a fake and all the jet’s passengers were rescued following a six-hour stand-off on the runway at Larnaca Airport in Cyprus. At the time, Innes said he posed for the pic to get a 'closer look' at the apparent explosives, adding: “I figured if his bomb was real I’d nothing to lose anyway.”
After returning to the UK following the ordeal, the keen rugby player was later pictured at his mother's home in the village of Biggin, near Selby.