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Spared jail Businessman who sexually assaulted flight attendant (18) on plane to Dublin walks free

The accused, from Latvia, pleaded guilty to sexual assault and two offences under the Air Navigation and Transport Act

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Arturs Nagornijs (41), a Latvian national based in Nice, France, leaving Dublin District Court

Arturs Nagornijs (41), a Latvian national based in Nice, France, leaving Dublin District Court

Arturs Nagornijs (41), a Latvian national based in Nice, France, leaving Dublin District Court

A businessman who sexually assaulted a flight attendant on a plane at Dublin Airport has been spared jail after paying €2,500 compensation.

Company director Arturs Nagornijs (41) put his hand up the distressed 18-year-old woman’s skirt after the plane landed on a layover.

Cabin crew had already confronted him over his drunken behaviour on the flight, when he lay across an elderly passenger’s lap, and urinated all over another seat.

Nagornijs walked free from court today after paying compensation to the victim. Judge Treasa Kelly convicted him but did not impose any other penalty.

She earlier said it was a horrendous and “despicable incident.”

The accused, from Latvia, pleaded guilty to sexual assault and two offences under the Air Navigation and Transport Act - intoxication on an aircraft and engaging in behaviour likely to cause serious offence or annoyance.

The incident happened on Tuesday this week and Nagornijs entered his plea on Wednesday. He was released on bail to appear in court this morning.

Garda Jennifer Lynch said the €2,500 had been paid and the victim was willing to accept it.

Defence solicitor Eoin Lysaght said Nagornijs apologised for his actions.

"It should never have happened," he said.

The accused was due to return to Latvia this afternoon, he said. He asked the judge to leave Nagornijs without criminal convictions.

Judge Kelly refused, saying she would be registering a conviction on the sexual assault charge and taking the others into consideration.

She said Nagornijs had pleaded guilty at the first available opportunity, paid compensation and apologised and she was making her order on that basis.

The accused's passport, which had been held by gardai as part of his bail terms, was returned to him.

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On Wednesday, Garda Jennifer Lynch told the court Nagornijs was on a flight from Nice via Stansted to Riga and with a connecting flight in Dublin.

During the flight, it was brought to the attention of cabin crew that he was acting erratically and lying across an elderly woman’s lap. She was in the window seat beside him and his head was in her lap. He was told to desist but a short time later, he was lying down again, annoying the elderly passenger.

Cabin crew again asked him to sit up and he complied but as soon as they walked away he was doing it again. It was decided not to argue with him as the plane was about to land.

When passengers were disembarking, the accused locked himself into the bathroom and refused to come out.

When he exited, he went to the back seats where he urinated all over himself, the seat and the floor, and refused to move.

While Nagornijs was sitting down, the victim felt a hand go up the back of her skirt between her thighs and she jumped forward, shocked and burst into tears.

The victim said to colleagues: “I can’t do this.”

The captain alerted air traffic control and Nagornijs was removed from the plane by gardai.

The victim had only been working for the airline for six weeks and was “far too distressed” to get on her return flight, Gda Lynch said.

The soilage to the plane cost about €100, the garda said.

“The man obviously had too much to drink,” Mr Lysaght said.

Nagornijs had no recollection of what happened at all, and apologised.

He had been working in Nice and was travelling home to Latvia, availing of cheap flights.

The court heard Nagornijs, director of a construction firm, was a “very well paid man” with over €100,000 at his disposal.

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