A Co Antrim woman who admitted assaulting police officers in an air rage incident has been warned that she “runs the real risk” of going to jail if she reoffends.
Pauline Girvan was due to be sentenced at Antrim Magistrates Court, sitting in Ballymena. However, District Judge Nigel Broderick revealed the 50-year-old had been put on probation for other offences in April, adding that he was minded to defer passing sentence for six months “to see how she behaves”.
Deferring sentencing to January 27 next year, the judge told Girvan the conditions of the deferral were that she did not commit any further offences and had to comply with the current probation order.
“If you do that, you will avoid custody,” said the judge, who warned that “if you don’t, you run the real risk of going to prison”.
On the day her contest was due to begin last month, Girvan, from Gordonstown Avenue in Larne, entered guilty pleas to two charges of assaulting police officers, using disorderly behaviour at Belfast International Airport and behaving in a “threatening, abusive, insulting or disorderly manner towards a member of the crew of an aircraft”, all committed on March 7 last year.
At that stage, the prosecution withdrew a charge accusing Girvan of failing to obey the lawful command of a pilot and offered no evidence to a further charge of resisting a constable on the same date.
The offences relate to an “air rage type incident” when cabin crew had called police to deal with another passenger on the Ryanair flight to Malaga but ended up having to deal with Girvan.
She refused to stand up for the officers and whilst being offloaded down the steps, she kicked the feet from under a police officer, causing them both to fall to the runway, where she was handcuffed and taken away.
Girvan, who appeared at court by videolink from her solicitor's office, was freed on continuing bail until January 27 next year.