Leader: Over the moon

But under an obligation to cabin staff

Peter Buck, guitarist with the rock band REM, is, according to Bono, lead singer of U2, a 'peaceable' man. His own lead singer, Michael Stipe, describes him as a 'gentleman' and the big brother he never had. Buck's virtues are known to us because the 6ft 2in Californian has just been acquitted of attempting to throttle a senior purser on a British Airways flight and of bruising an air stewardess in a fight which included a breakfast trolley being overturned.

Buck does not deny bad behaviour on a first-class flight from Seattle to Heathrow in April 2001. He confesses he 'acted like any jerk on vacation' (perhaps a little worse, Peter) but believes he made a bad mistake mixing a couple of glasses of wine with a sleeping tablet. Expert witnesses backed his theory.

We were not in the court or the jury-room but have faith that justice was done. None the less, it would be a fine gesture if the shy, gentle giant described at Isleworth Crown Court were to make a generous donation to a charity favoured by the British Airways crew on duty that day.


The GuardianTramp

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