Wednesday 18 September 2019

'Foul-mouthed', intoxicated Irish man fined for urinating in plane seat

An airplane. Photo: Deposit
An airplane. Photo: Deposit

Kyle Ewald

A drunk "foul-mouthed" passenger on a flight from Las Vegas to Gatwick has been fined £1,000 (€1,142) after urinating in his seat.

Irishman Shane O’Grady (30) was arrested last Wednesday on a Virgin Atlantic Boeing 747 flight after being "persistently disruptive and intoxicated" on the 10-hour journey.

O’Grady began to harass flight crew after being refused more alcohol. Staff then turned on seatbelt signs in an effort to diffuse the situation, but passengers were still allowed to use the bathroom.

The disruptive passenger then demanded the seat-belt signs be turned back on. Even though the staff agreed, O’Grady then urinated in his seat.

Flight staff then had to give O'Grady a sleep suit - typically something reserved for first class passengers - to change into.

Upon landing in Gatwick, police boarded the plane and escorted O’Grady off the flight where he was subsequently arrested.

The Waterford native was remanded in custody to appear at Crawley Magistrates’ Court the following day where he was charged for being intoxicated on board an aircraft.

Sergeant Darren Taylor of the Gatwick Prevention Team said: "While the vast majority of passengers are well-behaved, and travel through the airport and arrive at their destination without a problem, there is a very small minority who ruin it for themselves and for others.

"You could be refused carriage or sent on the next plane home if you are considered to be drunk, disorderly or disruptive. It’s as simple as that.

"However we are not out there with the intention to arrest people or ruin their holiday; we want all passengers to travel through Gatwick safely and with minimal fuss. By making our stance clear from the outset, the onus is on them to behave themselves."

O’Grady pleaded guilty to the charges and was fined £1,000 as well as £85 costs and a £100 victim surcharge.

A Virgin Atlantic spokesperson said: "The safety and wellbeing of our customers and crew is our top priority, and we won’t tolerate any behaviour that compromises this.

"We always want our customers to have the best experiences when they fly with us, and our cabin crew are highly trained to deal with any individuals that may impact that experience for others."

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