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Air rage man admits to 'appalling' drunken assault on passenger that saw police called before take-off

By Paul Higgins

Published 27/04/2016

Jay Woolsey, who admitted assault, at court yesterday
Jay Woolsey, who admitted assault, at court yesterday

A man has admitted drunkenly attacking a plane passenger in an "appalling" air rage incident that also involved spitting.

Jay Woolsey, from Portadown, had already pleaded guilty in February to a litany of offences linked to the flight from Belfast International Airport to Bristol on November 27, 2015.

He had been due to go on trial at Antrim Magistrates Court accused of common assault and failing to obey the lawful command of an aircraft commander.

But his solicitor said the 25-year-old was now pleading guilty to both matters.

During a previous hearing at the same court, the furniture builder, from Brownstown Park in the Co Armagh town, pleaded guilty to using disorderly behaviour at the airport, one count of common assault, being drunk on a plane and “behaving in a disorderly manner towards a member of the crew”.

Although no facts of the case have been opened in court, it is understood the charges arose after police were called on to a plane before it took off.

In court yesterday, Woolsey’s defence solicitor revealed “the spit is accepted” but did not disclose who his client had spat at during the attack.

District Judge Alan White adjourned sentencing for five weeks for a pre-sentence probation report, and Woolsey was released on continuing bail in the meantime.

The judge told him: “Your behaviour on this occasion was appalling and my strong advice to you is to cooperate fully with probation.”

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