Limerick court fines man €1,000 after disrupting flight to tune of €100k

A 28-year-old American man has been fined €1,000 after a plane was forced to divert to Shannon Airport.

Barman Jody Bochner of Miami, Florida appeared at Limerick District Court, charged with threatening and abusive behaviour; being intoxicated; and failing to obey directions from cabin crew.

The court heard the diversion cost the airline €100,000.

The Norwegian Air flight had been in the air for 40 minutes when cabin crew were alerted to smoke in one of the lavatories. An e-cigarette was allegedly taken from Bochner and he was returned to his seat.

Around 20 minutes later Bochner became abusive and attempted to hit one of the male cabin crew members before he was restrained and handcuffed with the help of some passengers.

Garda Walsh said the defendant was very aggressive when he disembarked around 6.15pm last evening and he smelled of alcohol. However, she acknowledged he was a totally different man this morning.

Defence solicitor Stiofan Fitzpatrick said the incident was extremely unfortunate and there was no rhyme nor reason to explaining his client's actions. He said his client was returning to America after visiting his girlfriend in London and had taken drink to help him sleep on the long flight.

Mr Fitzpatrick said the 28-year-old has no recollection of the incident and is anxious to return to the United States as he is the sole carer for his elderly grandparents.

The remaining 262 passengers and crew on the flight from Gatwick to Fort Lauderdale continued on the rest of their journey last night.

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