By Patrick Mulchrone 5/06/2010
Derrick Bird was deported back to Britain for erupting in a drunken rage at an airport.
He lunged at his pal after being teased about money.
The taxi driver was on his way to Thailand with a group of friends when security guards in Qatar banned him from his connecting flight.
Officials at the airport in the capital Doha put him in a secure area to sober up after the departure gate outburst.
Security officers refused him entry to his flight to Bangkok because they considered him a violent drunk and a “flight risk”. They later put him on a plane back to the UK.
The group of single taxi drivers from Bird’s Whitehaven rank – all in their late 40s and early 50s – travelled to Thailand together for a holiday three times a year.
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One said yesterday that Bird, 52, was drinking heavily before the argument began.
The friend, who asked not to be named, said: “When they all arrived in Doha it seemed like everyone was getting on.
“It all kicked off though when Birdy mentioned that he loved Thailand because it was cheap and someone made a joke about him being cheap.
“Birdy saw red. He went mad and went for him and officials had to step in.
“They’d never seen him flip before and it really shocked them. He must have had a lot of stress just bottled up.
“He was taken off and the next thing they knew was he wasn’t allowed on the flight and was flown home.”