“He can’t remember too much about it, he was just out of it,” solicitor says
Jonathan Freaney had been trying to calm himself down on the flight but got “out of it” and caused “untold stress” for cabin crew and other passengers, a court heard.
He had flown from Luton to Dublin Airport to attend an uncle’s funeral at the time. Judge Patricia Cronin fined Freaney €500, saying his behaviour was “unacceptable”.
Freaney (32), a machine driver of Coles Green Road, Brent, London, pleaded guilty to intoxication and offensive behaviour on board an aircraft.
Dublin District Court heard gardaí received a report at 4pm on August 25 from a plane at a stand of a “drunk and unruly passenger” on a flight from Luton airport.
Freaney had refused to take his seat for the last 25 minutes of the flight and lay on the floor of the aircraft.
He was removed from the flight after landing and arrested. The court heard he had not been abusive but “simply refused to comply with the request of the fight attendant.”
The accused had previous convictions in Ireland and the UK for public order and other charges, but none for an offence on board a plane.
Freaney had been travelling home for the funeral of an uncle who he had been very close to, his solicitor said.
He had taken Valium to calm himself down for the flight and had a few drinks as well.
“It was a bad mix,” the solicitor said. “He can’t remember too much about it. He wasn’t abusive, he was just out of it. The mix of alcohol and Valium was a recipe for disaster.”
Freaney was very ashamed and embarrassed.
Judge Cronin said Freaney had refused to comply with requests for 25 minutes of a flight that would have lasted no more than an hour.
This would have caused disruption, preventing people from using the toilets or trolley service.