Peter Buck's suggestion that his "drug-induced automatism" was caused by a reaction to sleeping tablets and red wine is denied in court...

REM star PETER BUCK was drunk not drugged, a psychiatrist told a court today (March 26) in the trial into his alleged mid-air rampage.

The guitarist had told Isleworth Crown Court his alleged violence was probably due to “drug-induced automatism” caused by a reaction to sleeping tablets and red wine.

But Nadji Kahtan said Buck’s attempt to exit the plane six miles above the Atlantic was one of several incidents that suggested he was merely drunk on red wine, the BBC reports (March 26). He added that had Buck suffered drug-induced automatism from the pill his would be the first case Dr Kahtan had ever heard; six thousand million of the pills have been consumed worldwide.

The prosecution has claimed Buck spent much of last April’s ten-hour British Airways flight from Seattle to Heathrow drinking red wine and behaving like a lout.

Buck said an Ambien sleeping tablet taken with red wine had caused a personality disorder from which he did not “awake” until he was in a police cell.

Dr Kahtan denied the claim. He said Buck demonstrated he had known what a door was for and had therefore had an ability to process information. He added that Buck’s alleged attempt to grab alcohol from the first class galley after being refused more by staff simply indicated drunkenness.

Yesterday, U2

‘s Bono made a surprise visit to court to provide evidence as a character witness for Buck. He said that in the 17 years he had been a friend of Buck, he had never seen him drunk or on drugs.

Buck denies being drunk on board an aircraft, assaulting cabin staff and damaging property.

The trial continues.