Drunk fined for try­ing to open door in aero­plane

Birmingham Post - - NEWS - Ross McCarthy Court Cor­re­spon­dent

ADRUNKEN Pol­ish fork lift truck driver with a fear of fly­ing caused panic af­ter down­ing a litre of vodka and reach­ing for the door as the plane was about to land in Birm­ing­ham.

An­drzej Plawski, 38, had boarded a Whizz Air flight in War­saw on June 5 this year. Sally Cairns, prose­cut­ing at Birm­ing­ham Crown Court, said: “About an hour into the flight the cabin man­ager no­ticed the de­fen­dant walk­ing around.

“He was un­steady on his feet and he smelt strongly of al­co­hol.

“At that point the cabin man­ager warned the de­fen­dant about his con­duct and asked him where he was get­ting his al­co­hol from, as drinks had not been served to him.

“He did not re­ply to that ques­tion but be­came in­creas­ingly an­i­mated.

“He was ver­bally and phys­i­cally dis­rup­tive to­wards other pas­sen­gers sat by him and was wav­ing his arms about.”

Miss Cairns said due to safety con­cerns the de­fen­dant, who had been by an emer­gency exit, was moved to a dif­fer­ent seat.

How­ever, when the plane started its de­scent and the seat belt signs came on, Plawski got up and started to get his bag out of the over head locker.

“He then pro­ceeded to stand by the door­way of the plane de­spite re­quests from cabin staff to take his seat,” Miss Cairns said. She added that even­tu­ally the cabin man­ager had to phys­i­cally move the de­fen­dant back to his seat and put the seat belt on him be­cause he seemed in­ca­pable of do­ing it him­self.

On land­ing, the po­lice were called and ar­rested Plawski who was shout­ing. He also punched the win­dow of a po­lice car.

When in­ter­viewed, he ad­mit­ted be­ing drunk and “play­ing the cabin crew up”.

Ni­cholas Tat­low, de­fend­ing, said: “He has a long stand­ing fear of fly­ing and on this oc­ca­sion, and in the past, dealt with that fear by drink­ing to ex­cess be­fore the flight.”

He said in the past he had nor­mally fallen asleep and that was his in­ten­tion when he drank al­most a full bot­tle of vodka at War­saw air­port and then pol­ished the rest off when he was in the air­craft’s lava­to­ries.

Mr Tat­low said this time Plawski had been par­tic­u­larly stressed af­ter go­ing home to Poland to visit his mother who had can­cer and that he had been ashamed of his be­hav­iour.

Plawski, of Dalki­eth Street, Walsall, who had pre­vi­ously ad­mit­ted be­ing drunk on an air­craft and us­ing threat­en­ing words and be­hav­iour, was fined £300 and or­dered to pay £340 costs by Recorder J Steel QC who said he had caused “anx­i­ety and dis­tress” to other pas­sen­gers and that by go­ing to the door he had caused alarm to the crew.

>Above: An­drej Plawski

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