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Wednesday 26 July 2017

Finnish student who went berserk on plane can’t fly home

Janne Geohannes Lindroos with his parents, who flew in from Finland to support him, outside Cork District Court yesterday.
Janne Geohannes Lindroos with his parents, who flew in from Finland to support him, outside Cork District Court yesterday.
Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

THE family of a Finnish college student who caused a flight to be diverted to Ireland faces a long and expensive journey to bring him home.

They will have to arrange either an expensive air ambulance transfer or a long car and ferry journey.

Janne Geohannes Lindroos (22) went berserk on the charter flight from the Canaries, forcing it to divert to Cork on New Year's Day, because he believed people were trying to kill him, a court heard yesterday.

Mr Lindroos appeared before Cork District Court yesterday in relation to the diversion of a Thomas Cook charter flight from Tenerife originally bound for Finland.

The young man pleaded guilty to a breach of Section 2 (a) of the Air Navigation and Transportation Act (1973).

Judge Dave Riordan was told that Lindroos was convinced other passengers on board the flight wanted to drug and then kill him.

Abusive

He became abusive and aggressive towards the flight crew, and other passengers eventually had to help the crew to restrain him.

An assault occurred on the plane but no complaint was made in relation to this. Mr Lindroos was handcuffed and then tied to his seat but also resisted gardai when they boarded the plane after it landed in Cork. The incident had left other passengers very frightened, and the plane's captain had diverted to Cork after he said he feared for the passenger's safety and the safety of others on board, the court heard.

Sgt Pat Lingane said the defendant had to be forcibly removed from the plane.

"He believed he was going to be injected with drugs and that other passengers were going to kill him," the garda said.

"He was of the opinion that we (the gardai) were going to assassinate him when he was in custody."

Judge Riordan was told by defence solicitor Emmet Boyle that the young man had suffered from depression two years ago but had responded well to medication.

He had gone to Tenerife on holidays after Christmas with some college friends.

However, he became separated from his friends one evening and suffered an incident which resulted in him having memory loss while in the company of people he did not know.

Later, it was discovered that €1,300 was taken from his bank account via ATM and that someone had also gone through his hotel room.

Mr Lindroos contacted his family back in Finland and eventually went to hospital for two days in Tenerife to have a chest complaint treated.

On discharge from hospital, he decided to return home four days early.

The incident he was charged with occurred as he was flying home and while he was taking medication.

Mr Lindroos was remanded in custody in Ireland for two days and he was assessed under the Mental Health Act. Judge Riordan was told that the young man's parents had immediately flown to Cork from Finland after learning what happened.

Lindroos -- who is one of four children -- went through yesterday's court hearing with his mother and father holding his hands.

The family were supported by the Finnish Embassy and a Finnish interpreter was also present.

Judge Riordan heard that the Lindroos family would now have to contract an expensive air ambulance to take him back to their home in Naolin Katu in Salo, Finland, or else undertake a lengthy land and sea journey because Mr Lindroos is medically unfit to fly commercially.

"This was a very scary event for the passengers on the plane. (But) with regard to what I have heard I believe it can be dealt with by a fine," the judge said.

He imposed a €500 fine.

Irish Independent

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