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Drunk passenger who urinated on his seat fined £1000 after Gatwick police escorted him off flight.

An abusive passenger who urinated in his seat on board a flight from Las Vegas has been fined £1,000.

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Shane O’Grady was convicted of being drunk on board an aircraft following the incident on the inbound Virgin Atlantic boeing 747 on Wednesday (23 May).

It happened just three days after Sussex Police and Gatwick Airport launched their summer crackdown on disruptive passengers.

Sergeant Darren Taylor, of the Gatwick Prevention Team, said:

“Gatwick is a very family-orientated airport, and we work hard with our partners to ensure the millions of passengers who pass through every year have a safe and enjoyable experience.

“We engage with passengers at the earliest opportunity – through patrols, face to face contact and the distribution of posters and leaflets – to make them fully aware of the rules and their own responsibility.

“But while the vast majority are well-behaved, there are always a few individuals who overstep the mark. Those who ignore our advice will be dealt with robustly, as is highlighted by this case.”

O’Grady was reported to police by staff on board the flight, and officers were requested to escort him from his seat prior to the disembarkment of other passengers at Gatwick.

The 30-year-old Irish national was described as being persistently disruptive throughout the journey, and using loud and foul language.

After being refused more alcohol, he began to harass and intimidate staff, and was verbally abusive.
In an attempt to calm the situation, the flight crew placed the seatbelt signs on, but insisted passengers could still use the bathroom with caution.

O’Grady demanded the signs were removed and the crew obliged in an attempt to defuse the situation further, but despite this he urinated in his seat.

As a duty of care, staff provided him with a sleep suit – usually kept for First Class passengers – to change into as a result of his actions.

O’Grady, a sign writer, of no fixed address, was arrested after the plane safely landed, and was remanded in custody to appear before Crawley Magistrates’ Court the following day (Thursday 24 May), charged with being drunk on board an aircraft.

He pleaded guilty and was fined £1,000, and ordered to pay £85 costs and a £100 victim surcharge.

A Virgin Atlantic spokesperson said:

“The safety and wellbeing of our customers and crew is our top priority, and we won’t tolerate any behaviour that compromises this. We always want our customers to have the best experience when they fly with us, and our cabin crew are highly trained to deal with any individuals that may impact that experience for others. We treat all incidents of disruptive behaviour seriously, and we’ll continue to work with authorities to report incidents onboard.”

More information on Operation Disrupt can be found here.

Crime

Two jailed after attempt to smuggle 8.5kgs of cocaine through Gatwick

“This was a deliberate, if unsophisticated attempt to smuggle dangerous Class A drugs into the UK”, says Chris Capel, Assistant Director of Border Force South.

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The drugs, which had been wrapped in plastic and hidden inside boxes marked ‘rum’, weighed approximately 8.5kgs.

Two men from Barbados are facing a total of 13 years in jail after pleading guilty to attempting to smuggle an estimated 8.5kgs of cocaine into the UK.

On 1 September, Border Force officers stopped 62-year-old Grantley Herbert Thompson, and 30-year-old Jamal Ricardo Walcott, in the customs channels at Gatwick Airport’s North Terminal. Both had arrived on a flight from Barbados.

More news: Crawley’s Community Wardens earn RSPCA award

During a search of their baggage officers discovered a white powder, wrapped in green plastic, and hidden inside boxes marked rum. The powder was subsequently tested and gave a positive reaction to the field test for cocaine. The cocaine had an estimated street value of £535,000.

Chris Capel, Assistant Director of Border Force South said:

“This was a deliberate, if unsophisticated attempt to smuggle dangerous Class A drugs into the UK and I commend the Border Force officers whose work ensured that Thompson and Walcott are now behind bars.

“Illegal drugs have a significant impact on our society, being the root cause behind countless burglaries, thefts and robberies. They are also used as a commodity by organised criminals linked to violence and exploitation of the vulnerable.

“We continue to work with our colleagues from the National Crime Agency (NCA) to do all we can to stamp out this despicable trade and bring those responsible to justice.”

The case was referred to the NCA and Thompson and Walcott were charged with importation of a class A drug.

62-year-old Grantley Thompson.

On Thursday, 11 October the pair appeared at Croydon Crown Court where they admitted the smuggling attempt. Both were sentenced to six years and six months imprisonment immediately.

30-year-old Jamal Walcott.

The Government’s Serious Violence Strategy, which was launched in April, aims to combat the devastating impact drugs have on levels of serious violence.

It also highlights a strong link between drugs and serious violence and the related harm and exploitation from county lines. The Government has set out the action it will take to tackle this violent and exploitative criminal activity. The action of Border Force to stop drugs before they get into the country forms a key part of this work.

Border Force officers use hi-tech search equipment to combat immigration crime and detect banned and restricted goods that smugglers attempt to bring into the country.

Nationally, they use an array of search techniques including sniffer dogs, carbon dioxide detectors, heartbeat monitors and scanners – as well as visual searches – to find well-hidden stowaways, illegal drugs, firearms and tobacco which would otherwise end up causing harm to local people, businesses and communities.

Anyone with information about activity they suspect may be linked to smuggling should call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or go to https://www.gov.uk/report-smuggling

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