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Derry bad Derry woman facing prospect of jail for air rage now charged with assaulting police

A judge told Sarah McGuire that while she hadn't committed further offences since her air rage case was deferred he "could not ignore" further allegations

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Sarah McGuire

Sarah McGuire

Sarah McGuire

A woman facing a potential jail sentence for an air rage incident has been charged multiple offences of assaulting police and public disorder offences, a judge heard today.

District Judge Nigel Broderick heard that although Sarah McGuire had not committed further offences over the six months her case was deferred, she was now facing allegations at Derry Magistrates Court arising from incidents 29 November.

The Antrim Magistrates Court judge, sitting in Ballymena, told defence counsel Sean Doherty “I cannot just ignore” the fresh allegations and warned that if he passed sentence today, “it may not go well for your client.”

In latest case, McGuire, from Tyrconnell Street in Derry, is charged with common assault, criminal damage to wine glasses at Sandino’s Bar in the city, using disorderly behaviour at Rosie Joe’s bar, assaulting three police officers and resisting a constable, all alleged to have been committed on 29 November this year.

Mr Doherty told DJ Broderick that case is due before the court this Thursday and there’s “likely” to be guilty pleas.

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Sarah McGuire during the air rage incident

Sarah McGuire during the air rage incident

Sarah McGuire during the air rage incident

In relation to the air rage case, on the day her trial was due to begin last March McGuire entered guilty pleas to charges of common assault, behaving in a threatening, abusive or insulting manner towards a member of aircraft crew and refusing to obey the lawful command of an aircraft commander.

At an earlier hearing she had admitted using disorderly behaviour at Belfast International Airport arising from the same incident.

The court heard that on 18 October 2020, McGuire was on an EasyJet flight to Edinburgh to visit her two children who live with their aunt when she “lost her cool” over the wearing of a face mask.

A prosecuting lawyer outlined how police were called to Belfast International Airport by ground staff after McGuire had been ejected from the flight, coughing over one of them.

That victim, said the lawyer, “lives with his elderly grandmother and the incident caused him great concern in the aftermath that he may have contracted Covid and that he might have taken it back to the family home.”

Further enquiries “established that the defendant had been verbally abusive to the EasyJet crew and other passengers on board,” said the lawyer, adding that McGuire told them to “f*** off” and that on her way off the plane, McGuire “coughed over passengers on board shouting ‘everybody dies’ as she left.”

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Arrested inside the terminal building, McGuire “became violent, struggling with police” and even when she was put to the floor and handcuffed, she “continued to shout and swear at police.”

During police interviews McGuire refused to answer most of their questions but did tell officers that while she had a face mask, “she had anxiety and that affected her wearing a mask on board.”

Last April District Judge Nigel Broderick deferred passing sentence for six months on condition that McGuire engages with probation for a report and does not reoffend.

Today he put the case back for a week to see what developments there may be in McGuire’s new case in Derry.

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