Waterford man on ‘romantic’ trip urinated on plane floor and issued drunken threats

Thomas Cullen (39) had mixed alcohol with painkillers after an e-scooter accident in Prague the day before

Thomas Cullen, who pleaded guilty to offensive behaviour on board an aircraft. Photo: Collins

Andrew PhelanSunday World

A man who took his girlfriend on a “romantic” trip to Prague ended up causing a drunken disturbance on the flight home, when he urinated on the plane floor and threatened cabin crew, ordering them to get him whiskey.

Thomas Cullen (39) had been injured in an e-scooter accident and “irresponsibly” mixed alcohol with his pain medication when the mid-air episode unfolded on the approach to Dublin Airport.

A court heard because of his facial injuries, flight attendants might have mistaken the IT worker for a reveller from a “stag party gone wrong”.

Judge Treasa Kelly spared him convictions and gave him the benefit of the Probation Act after he made a €750 charity donation.

Cullen, of Coolfin, Portlaw, Co Waterford, pleaded guilty to intoxication and offensive behaviour on board an aircraft.

Garda Sergeant Niall Murphy told Dublin District Court the incident happened on a flight coming into Dublin last month, on February 23.

The accused had gone to the toilets but did not close the door and urinated on the floor.

He then asked a member of cabin crew for whiskey, followed him back to the galley and threatened him, still looking for whiskey. He was warned that he had to desist from his behaviour and failed to do so, Sgt Murphy said.

Cullen had been on a trip to Prague with his partner, and the day before the return flight, he had an accident on an e-scooter

When told to go back to his seat, Cullen refused to put on his safety belt as the plane landed. He had no prior convictions.

Cullen had been on a trip to Prague with his partner, and the day before the return flight, he had an accident on an e-scooter.

He fell off and hurt his head and because of the bruising might have looked like “a different person” on the flight, his solicitor Amanda Connolly said.

People might have thought he was “part of a stag party that had gone wrong” as opposed to someone who had been on a romantic weekend away with his girlfriend and had an e-scooter accident, she said.

Cullen had been on pain medication and had a few drinks before he got on the plane. He fell asleep and awoke to go to the toilets, but did not recall what happened.

Cullen was “shocked, remorseful and embarrassed” at his behaviour, Ms Connolly said. He would not have acted that way without the medication he had taken, the court heard. “What transpired on the plane was appalling behaviour on your part,” Judge Kelly told Cullen.

“I have to consider what it would have been like for passengers on the flight and the cabin crew trying to keep control. Your behaviour was very poor, you showed no respect for the other passengers or crew, in a very confined situation, which could have heightened passengers’ anxiety on the flight.”

A medical report stated that the combination of his own prescription medication, Solpadeine and alcohol “could have resulted in unpredictable effects”.

The judge said it was “very irresponsible” of the accused to have had “pints or whiskey” in the circumstances.

Today's Headlines

More Courts

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices

WatchMore Videos