A Belfast man, responsible for causing the delay of an Easy Jet flight to Manchester, has been ordered to pay a fine of £600.
The offender, who goes by the name Samuel Patrick Moore, showed up earlier this week at the Antrim Magistrates’ Court.
In January, Mr. Moore admitted to the charges levied against him concerning his antics on the flight. He was charged with acting in a threatening manner, being intoxicated inside an aircraft and refusing to obey the lawful command.
According to the details provided by the prosecutor, Moore’s flight was scheduled to head to Manchester from Belfast at 5 pm on the 9th of September 2016.
The police were called in after the disruptive and drunk passenger, Mr. Moore, refused to exit the aircraft even after being commanded to do so. It was only after the police arrived that Mr. Moore was taken out.
Mr. Moore was believed to have shouted and sworn at people, including the crew. One crew member was distressed over the occurrence to a point where she had to go off duty.
The flight delay lasted for about 2 hours and the passengers had to be temporarily exited for some time.
When questioned about his behaviour, Moore replied by saying that he was being treated with arthritis medication which he consumed by mixing it with a double whiskey and beer at the airport bar, and that his memory of the incident wasn’t clear.
District Judge, Peter King, told during an earlier hearing that Moore threatened the crew members with violence. It is believed that his threats involved the usage of a gun.
However, Moore’s defense lawyer stated that the remark was never made and that there was no corroboration supporting the claim. The lawyer added that Moore was on his way to England for a wedding and that his flying-related anxiety had forced him to have a drink at the bar.
The lawyer also stated that Moore was apologetic for his behavior.
The district judge stated that he wasn’t too happy about limiting Moore’s penalties to a fine. However, he said that he was forced to do so as the case fell under the purview of the Air Navigation Act. The judge also mentioned that the act made his sentencing powers “grossly inadequate”.
He then directed his attention to Moore, explaining to him how such behavior outside of an aircraft would have caused the defendant to be charged with public order offenses, offenses that would have seen a sentencing far stern than just a fine.
The judge also made it a point to mention that the case would have been forwarded to the Crown Court if there was an actual weapon involved. He also told Moore that he should have exercised more self-control. Continuing his criticism of Moore, the judge also questioned the defendant about how other nervous flyers like him would have felt in this situation.
Moore pleaded guilty to all three charges on the 9th of September, 2016. The judge slapped him with a fine of £600 and an offender levy of £15. He has 26 weeks to pay off the fine.