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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.

Business

Businesses show their support for Gatwick’s growth as protesters continue their campaign

With only four days left before the consultation closes, 29 companies and business organisations that together represent over 25,000 companies Sussex, Surrey, Kent and London have come out in support of Gatwick’s plans.

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With only four days left before the consultation closes, 29 companies and business organisations that together represent over 25,000 companies Sussex, Surrey, Kent and London have come out in support of Gatwick’s plans. The open letter to Stewart Wingate, the airport’s CEO, is signed by organisations including Chambers of Commerce, the Federation of Small Business and sector specific associations (full list below).

In the letter the business organisations describe Gatwick as ‘a linchpin of the regional economy and a significant national asset’ that contributes ’over £5bn to UK GDP and supports 85,000 jobs.’  It goes on to say:

As the UK heads into a new chapter, Gatwick will have a vital role to play in fuelling trade, tourism and commerce, and providing links to global markets. When Gatwick thrives and grows, so too does the national and regional economy, so the airport’s growth ambitions deserve our full support.’

Clearly this growth should not be at any cost, and given our businesses and employees are based in the local communities in and around the airport, we fully understand that the impacts of expansion need to be considered and carefully managed.

‘But we believe the strength of Gatwick’s plans lies in their simplicity. By unlocking much-needed new capacity from within the airport’s existing runways and footprint, Gatwick’s growth plans are a low-impact way of delivering significant benefits.’

We are firmly in support of Gatwick’s plans which we believe will play a crucial role in allowing our businesses, our employees and our region to continue to prosper.’

The support from businesses comes one month after 75% of residents surveyed across Sussex, Surrey and Kent said that they also supported Gatwick’s growth plans, with just 14% opposing.

The public consultation on Gatwick’s draft master plan runs until 10 January 2019 and can be accessed here

Stewart Wingate, Chief Executive Officer, Gatwick Airport, said:

“This vote of confidence in our plans for growth is particularly powerful as organisations representing over 25,000 businesses have thrown their weight behind our draft master plan. 

“Businesses know we can’t take the region’s economic growth for granted. By sending this letter they recognise the airport’s vital role in creating local jobs and opportunities, and that growing Gatwick is essential for the future prosperity of our region.

“With only a few days left I would like to encourage as many people as possible to take part in our ongoing consultation to show their support for the airport’s growth plans.”

But protesters like CAGNE (Communities Against Gatwick Noise and Emissions) say the effect of any part of the plan would be highly detrimental for all residents.

In a recent statement they said:

“This master plan simply blights these areas again to the threat of airport expansion beyond 2030. The fact remains that Gatwick was not selected by the Airport Commission due to lack of unemployment in the surrounding counties; lack of connectivity to the rest of the UK and the world; it is predominantly used for European leisure travel.”

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