Saturday 24 March 2018

Frenchman pleads guilty to air-rage

Flight diverted to Shannon

Shannon Airport
Shannon Airport

Gordon Deegan

A 55-year -year old French man is to plead guilty to all ‘air rage’ related charges that resulted in a transatlantic flight diverting to Shannon yesterday.

At Ennis District Court today, French national Som Chanh appeared in relation to the three charges following his arrest off the Paris to Montreal Air Transat flight TSC-711 in Shannon yesterday morning.

Mr Chanh is the second ‘air rage’ case to come before Ennis District Court this year following the 'air rage’ conviction of Jenny Lauren, niece of US billionaire, Ralph Lauren last month.

The aircraft’s captain diverted the Airbus A330-200 with over 300 passengers on board when it was south of Ireland with the plane landing at Shannon at 10.23am on Monday.

The flight was able to continue its journey after the passenger’s baggage had been removed from the aircraft, in accordance with security procedures.

Mr Chanh, with an address in Paris, was detained and taken to Shannon Garda station and giving evidence of arrest, charge and caution in court yesterday, Garda Emer O’Riordan said that Mr Chanh responded “I don’t agree with that.”

Solicitor for the accused, Stiofan Fitzpatrick told Judge Patrick Durcan that there was a plea of guilty to all charges.

However, Judge Durcan said that he would not be able to deal with the case as it was a day set aside in court to deal with traffic cases.

Mr Fitzpatrick then applied for bail for his client and Garda O’Riordan said that Gardai already had €1,050 and a passport from Mr Chanh.

On request from Judge Durcan, Mr Fitzpatrick inquired from Mr Chanh if he had any other passport and Mr Chanh told him that he didn’t.

In the case, Mr Chanh is charged with engaging in behaviour likely to cause serious offence or annoyance to any person on board the aircraft; engaging in behaviour of a threatening, abusive or insulting nature with intent to cause a breach of the peace and being intoxicated on board the flight contrary to the Air Navigation and Transport Act.

Mr Chanh required the services of an interpreter to communicate in court and Judge Durcan remanded the man on conditional bail to today

The conditions require a bond of €1,000; surrender of Mr Chanh's passport, stay over in accommodation in Ennis last night and appear before Ennis District Court today (Weds).

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