Saturday 16 December 2017

Jenny Lauren 'thought she was in Spain' when asking arresting guard to speak English

Niece of fashion mogul Ralph Lauren fined €2k after seat failed to recline and flight was diverted to Shannon

Jennifer Lauren leaving Ennis District Court today. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Jennifer Lauren leaving Ennis District Court today. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Jennifer Lauren leaving court, which was held (inset) in the Brian Boru pub
Jennifer Lauren after appearing before Killaloe District Court
Killaloe District Court was sitting in the Brian Boru on the Hill pub, below, in Ballina, Co Tipperary
Jenny Lauren and her father Jerry Lauren
Designer Ralph Lauren
Jenny Lauren and Jerry Lauren.
Caroline Crawford

Caroline Crawford

THE NIECE of fashion mogul Ralph Lauren was today fined €2,000 for a foul mouthed drunken tirade on a plane.

Jennifer Lauren (41) with an address at East 65th Street in New York abused three airline staff including two air hostesses whom she each labelled ‘f***ing ugly blonde b***h’.

Ms Lauren, of East 65th Street in New York, pleaded guilty to two charges during the air rage incident when she was drunk and disorderly.

The court heard that the total cost of the incident came to €30,208 including €12,676 for discommoding passengers.

The incident occurred on Monday after Ms Lauren’s seat on the transatlantic flight between Barcelona and New York was unable to recline.

When air hostess Constance Topping interacted with the defendant, she was told to "get the f**k out of her face", Inspector Tom Kennedy told Ennis district court today.

Ms Lauren then left her seat, following Ms Topping at speed up the aisle.

There she pushed the air hostess against the wall calling her a "f*****g ugly blonde bitch."

A second air hostess Jennifer Simpson was also abused with Ms Lauren calling her "a f*****g ugly, unhappy blonde bitch."

A second pilot who was resting in the body of the aircraft also approached Ms Lauren but was told "You're an asshole".

The court was told that Ms Lauren did not recall much of the incident.

Judge Patrick Durcan heard that the American was upset over the Christmas period thinking about her mum whom she lost to cancer.

The court heard that Ms Lauren was "extremely embarrassed and extremely upset" over the incident.

The defendant had had three drinks but was also taking medication which exacerbated the problem.

Ms Lauren was separated from a travelling companion on flight and found that the alcohol, medications and altitude all affected her.

Defence solicitor Sharon Curley said while much had been made of her client’s family name, Ms Lauren is a 41-year-old single woman who had recently set up her own business which she was the sole employee of.

The court heard that Ms Lauren suffered from depression and bi polar disorder. She had previously suffered from anorexia which she had overcome.

Ms Curley told the court that on arrival in Shannon, Ms Lauren was under the impression that she had landed in Spain and that was the reason she had asked a member of gardai to speak in English.

Judge Durcan said the airline staff had been "grossly insulted and demeaned". However, in taking the more serious charge into account, Judge Durcan said that in his view the entire incident had been caused by the intoxication.

The solicitor added that Ms Lauren is well aware that she may face issues of compensation for the flight being diverted to Shannon in another forum.

Judge Durcan fined her €2,000. The maximum sentence on each of the two charges was a  €3,000 fine or four months in prison.

She left the court without making any comment.

Earlier in the day, Ms Lauren sat at the back of the packed court with a female companion waiting for her case to be called. A male companion sat in the public gallery.

The three arrived at Ennis District Court at 10am this morning, entering the building by the back door.

The 41-year-old jewellery designer was arrested on Monday afternoon for being drunk and disorderly on board a Delta Airlines flight DL477 after crew feared she could be a danger to herself or another person.

The flight which had 209 passengers and crew on board was diverted to Shannon airport as a result of Ms Lauren's behaviour.

At a sitting of Killaloe District Court on Tuesday, Sharon Curely, defence solicitor for the jewellery designer indicated that her client would enter a guilty plea to all charges.

However, Judge Durcan refused to deal with the plea until today after requesting that details of the cost of the incident be furnished to him.

He requested information of the nature and extent to which passengers on board the flight were discommoded. He also requested that the full cost to the airline and the Irish authorities also be calculated before he imposed a sentence.

At the previous sitting, the court had heard from Gda Evette Walsh of Shannon garda station who arrested Ms Lauren at Shannon Airport.

She gave evidence of arresting the accused at the airport at 2.05pm on Monday at which time Ms Lauren replied; "Can you say that in English please."

Ms Lauren was later charged at Shannon Garda station and made no reply after each charge, the court heard.

Ms Lauren was charged with being intoxicated to such an extent as would give rise to a reasonable apprehension that she might endanger herself or another person on board the aircraft.

She was also charged with a breach of the peace by engaging in threatening, abusive or insulting behaviour.

A third charge of engaging in behaviour likely to cause serious offence or annoyance to any person on board the aircraft, having been requested by a member of the crew of the aircraft to cease such behaviour was struck out this morning.

All charges relate to the Air Navigation and Transport Act 1973.

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