Judge finds woman guilty of four charges, including indecent act on plane

A woman accused of committing an indecent act on a Toronto-to-Halifax flight has been found guilty of all charges.

HALIFAX — A woman accused of committing an indecent act on a Toronto-to-Halifax flight has been found guilty of all charges.

Alicia Elizabeth Lander, 26, had pleaded not guilty to committing an indecent act, assaulting a police officer, committing an act of mischief and causing a disturbance at Halifax Stanfield International Airport on Jan. 24, 2014.

She testified in provincial court Wednesday that she had drunk 14 shots of Crown Royal just before and on the flight, and didn’t remember what had happened.

A provincial court judge found her guilty on all four counts.

A flight attendant told her trial in January that she and a man used a coat to cover their laps to fondle each other.

John Dunn, who was service director for Air Canada Flight 610, testified that Lander had asked if she could change seats to sit with her friend after boarding the plane in Toronto.

About an hour into the flight, Dunn said a passenger told him the people sitting in seats 14A and 14B were about to join the “Mile High Club.”

He testified that he approached Lander and the man and found them with a jacket over their laps but he could tell what was happening underneath.

He said he could see that Lander’s pants were down around her ankles and he asked them to stop what they were doing. Dunn asked Lander to get dressed and he said she eventually pulled up her pants, although she initially denied not being clothed.

Lander was asked to go back to the seat she was originally assigned in row 26, where she slept for the remainder of the flight, he said.

The captain arranged to have RCMP officers meet the flight at the gate, court heard.

Jason George Chase, 40, was also charged with committing an indecent act in connection with the same incident and had originally pleaded not guilty, but changed his plea to guilty in January.

Lander testified in her defence on Wednesday, telling the court most of the drinks she had were bought by Chase.

“I feel ashamed it happened. I would never, ever do something in that kind of manner,” she said.

“It’s not me. It’s not me to assault anyone.”

It’s not clear whether Lander and Chase knew each other prior to the incident.

Dunn said after landing, Lander became combative when he was telling police what happened onboard, calling him a liar.

RCMP Const. Mac Routliffe testified that Lander was disruptive after meeting officers at the arrivals gate and when she didn’t settle down, she was arrested.

He also said Lander kicked him twice, although he described the second kick as a “glancing blow.”

She was placed in an interview room and Routliffe testified that he and another officer had to hold the door shut to contain her. He said she ended up putting a few holes in the walls of the room, causing more than $400 in damage.

Lander will be sentenced in July.