Wednesday 29 March 2017

Librarian fined €400 for drunken air-rage incident

Gordon Deegan

A LIBRARIAN was ordered to pay a €400 fine after an airrage incident at the weekend during which three passengers had to restrain him intermittently over 90 minutes.

Ennis District Court in Co Clare was told yesterday that that, at one stage, Harald Albrecht (32) made a lunge for a female flight attendant, but did not make contact.

The Austrian Airlines flight from Washington to Vienna was forced to divert to Shannon airport at 7.05am on Saturday. Garda Noel O’Rourke told the court Mr Albrecht “had to be forcibly removed from the aircraft”.

“This was an incident out of character for Mr Albrecht but I can't conceive of a greater danger to people than what Mr Albrecht engaged in,” Judge John O'Neill said.

Gda O’Rourke said that Mr Albrecht had taken a sleeping tablet along with some wine and became agitated when refused more alcohol by the flight attendants.

“He became abusive towards the flight attendants,” the garda said. The flight attendants then required the assistance of male passengers to restrain the librarian, the court heard.

Gda O’Rourke said Mr Albrecht was intoxicated when gardai came on board and later, when he sobered up, “was severely remorseful and embarrassed”.

Mr Albrecht told Judge O’Neill he would like to apologise to Austrian Airlines, the cabin crew and the passengers. He said he took the tablet because he was afraid of flying over the ocean.

“I feel deeply sorry and ashamed for what I have done,” he said. Judge O’Neill imposed a fine of €400 and Mr Albrecht walked free after paying.

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