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.
Pay ‘takes-off’ for baggage & ground staff at Gatwick
Good news for easyJet ground staff and baggage handlers at Gatwick.
Almost a thousand easyJet ground staff and baggage handlers at Gatwick airport employed by DHL have negotiated a pay boost worth on average 7.5% over two years.
The workers will also get a bonus worth over £500 a year and an increase in overtime payments, including double time for working on bank holidays. And in a further boost to workers’ terms and conditions the company’s sick pay policy has also been markedly improved.
The deal means that a typical worker would be in line for an increase of over £2000 in the first year of the deal including the bonus.
Unite regional officer, Jamie Major said:
“Baggage handlers and ground staff employed by DHL have negotiated a significant boost in pay well above the rate of inflation. During the pay talks Unite and DHL worked constructively to develop a transparent pay strategy which is fair and gives workers the opportunity to progress.
“Unite’s organising strategy has meant that hundreds of new members joined the union which in turn gave Unite more influence during negotiations. This above inflation pay deal once again shows that when pay is falling flat across the economy it pays to be in a union.”
Unite has launched a powerful online tool to help workers secure a fair share of company profits. Unite’s new online tool will mean that in just a few minutes, union reps can generate a professional pay claim. Almost 4000 Unite representatives have already used the Pay Claim Generator.
At the click of a mouse the tool allows union reps to gather the latest up-to-date information from Companies House, the Office for National Statistics and the union’s own database containing the details of tens of thousands of pay deals.
The Pay Claim Generator was designed as part of Unite’s industrial strategy entitled Work, Voice, Pay which is about empowering union members by giving them the tools and support in the workplace to help them win at work.
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