Ibiza flight drunk Northern Ireland man 'should be ashamed', says judge
A Derry man who was drunk onboard a flight going from Northern Ireland to Ibiza whilst part of a stag party has been told by a judge he should be "ashamed" of himself.
Ruairi McNally (24) of Kilrea Road, Upperlands, committed the offence on September 1 last year.
He pleaded guilty and at Antrim Magistrates Court on Tuesday was fined £260.
Unemployed McNally was in court with his father and a prosecutor said on the date in question the defendant was part of a stag group travelling on a Jet2 flight from Belfast International Airport.
After a safety announcement was made about seat belts McNally stood up.
Cabin crew could see he was drunk and a half bottle of vodka was at his feet.
The prosecutor said McNally was warned about his behaviour but he continually replied "f--k off" and "squared up" to a male member of cabin crew who believed he was going to be punched.
The captain arranged for police to meet the flight in Ibiza and the defendant later went to Magherafelt Police Station and admitted the charge.
Defence barrister Chris Sherrard said his client, who previously had been a painter and decorator in Australia, had pleaded guilty at the first opportunity and had a clear record.
Mr Sherrard said 14 others were on the stag party and two were refused entry to the plane.
The barrister said his client had taken some drink before boarding and was served two vodkas on the plane.
Mr Sherrard said McNally recognised his behaviour fell "far below" what was acceptable.
The defendant realised he had caused inconvenience to staff and passengers; wished to apologise and "bitterly regrets" his actions.
Mr Sherrard said the judge had expressed views previously that such offences are becoming more prevalent and he noted that many of the cases are dealt with at Antrim Court.
Fining McNally, District Judge Oonagh Mullan said the behaviour was "totally unacceptable".
She said such cases are coming to the court more and more. Reading from statements supplied by cabin crew she said McNally had stood up and kept hitting his head on an overhead locker.
He was also sitting on an emergency seat and refused to put his suitcase in a locker.
She said the defendant's "deplorable" actions put passengers "at real risk".
The judge said he was aggressive; swore at and squared up to a cabin crew member which she said was "abhorrent".
Judge Mullan told him that never mind the inconvenience and unpleasantness, McNally had "put people at risk" and added: "You should be ashamed".
Belfast Telegraph Digital