PICTURE : MARK JAMIESON
A male restrained a disruptive drunken passenger on the aisle of a plane which had flown from Lithuania in to Belfast, a court heard on Monday.
Odeta Blekaityte (29), a waitress, pleaded guilty to nine offences including behaving in a threatening and disorderly manner onboard, and was given a ten months jail term, suspended for two years.
A prosecutor told Coleraine Magistrates Court that at 7.15pm on Saturday March 24 police were called to Stand 25 at Belfast International Airport where a flight landed from Vilnius with a “drunken disruptive passenger onboard”.
Police saw a male restraining the defendant in the aisle of the aircraft and she began shouting at police.
She tried to hold on to seats and grabbed hold of other passengers whilst being led away.
Her speech was noted to be slurred and she was brought to a galley area and placed on the floor.
She was taken away by a police cell van and kicked out and continued to shout on the way to Antrim Police Station.
At one stage the defendant urinated in the rear of the cell van and then kicked a female police officer in the groin.
The prosecutor said the defendant had no recollection of the events.
Other charges admitted to by the defendant, with an address at Road Two in the Muirhevnamor area of Dundalk, were: assaulting a crew member; being drunk on an aircraft; failing to obey a lawful command in an aircraft; interfering with the performance of an aircraft crew member and ‘behaving in a threatening, abusive, insulting or disorderly manner towards a crew member’; assault on police; resisting police; and causing criminal damage to a police vehicle.
Defence barrister Francis Rafferty said the defendant “disgraced herself”.
He said his client, a Lithuanian national, had travelled to Vilnius in Lithuania for an operation but was told it could not proceed for medical reasons.
She was put on “very strong” medication and then had some wine on the flight back, said Mr Rafferty.
The lawyer said the defendant lives and works in Dundalk and her partner had travelled to court.
District Judge Peter King said: “The key here is to get your client out of Northern Ireland as soon as possible”.
He told the defendant: “Anybody who behaves like this on an aeroplane is risking a period of custody”.
He said the behaviour was inexcusable and imposed a ten months jail term, suspended for two years.
Judge King said it was possible the defendant would have to travel back to Lithuania to seek further medical treatment and he warned her if there was any further trouble in Northern Ireland she would be jailed.