An “intoxicated” man and his then-girlfriend allegedly attacked a British family on an international cruise after he made vulgar comments toward their autistic teenage daughter, according to a report.
Justin Gardner, his wife, Sarah, and their two daughters had just sat down for a late-night buffet meal on The Britannia in June 2019 when another cruise passenger allegedly shouted from a neighboring table that he wanted to “f–k” the couple’s younger daughter — who was 16, a court heard, according to The Sun.
The older daughter, Alice, 21, asked the passenger, Paul Evans, 45, to stop swearing when his then-girlfriend entered the fray and instigated a fight, prosecutors said.
Evans then allegedly knocked the dad out before “rugby tackling” the mom, who was trying to film the chaos for “evidence,” the Southampton Crown Court heard about the cruise through the Norwegian Fjords.
“Mr. Evans was intoxicated and when he was near their table, he was using language which a number of people found offensive,” prosecutor Mark Ashley told the jury.
Sarah told the court that she, her husband and Alice each had a few drinks at a family disco prior to the incident, but were not drunk.
The mother then sobbed as she recounted hearing Evans say “I would like to f–k her” in what she believes were disgusting remarks aimed at her 16-year-old autistic daughter, Amelia.
“I felt very anxious. We carried on ignoring him and then my eldest daughter said, ‘Please can you stop talking like that?’” Sarah said.
Evans’ now ex-girlfriend, Tabatha Young, then turned violent, the mother claimed.
“[Tabatha Young] flew up from another table and started attacking my daughter Alice by pushing her,” she told the court.
“I tried to separate Tabatha and Alice. I was trying to calm the situation down but Tabatha punched her and attacked Alice.”
As the brawl devolved, Evans allegedly punched Justin, who had been standing at the family’s table with the couple’s youngest daughter “who was very upset,” Sarah said.
The hit to the side of her husband’s head knocked him unconscious, she told the jury.
Sarah claims Evans then unleashed an attack on Alice — grasping her neck with one hand and using the other to “punch her repeatedly.”
“I was trying to pull him off her and he punched me,” she said. “Then I felt calm and got my husband’s mobile phone from his suit pocket and started to film him so I could get evidence.
“I was shouting for the kitchen staff but they were just all lined up watching us. It was quite frightening. I did not understand why they were not helping us,” she added.
When he realized he was being recorded, Evans “rugby tackled” Sarah to the ground, the court was told.
“He wrestled me for the phone. He was punching and kicking me. I was trying to hold on to the phone because my husband uses it for work. He (Evans) was in such a rage,” she said.
Evans and Young were eventually restrained by security, who handed them over to police when the ship docked at Southampton.
Young, who interviews boxers on YouTube, has pleaded guilty to actual bodily harm, while Evans faces charges of robbery and three counts of actual bodily harm. He denies the charges.
P&O describes its fjords cruise as “a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”