Ryanair ban drunk passenger who downed a bottle of vodka before …
A drunken dad who slurred “the Mancs are terrorising me” after terrifying passengers on board a Ryanair flight has been banned by the airline. John Medway was flying home from a family holiday in Fuerteventura to Liverpool John Lennon Airport on January 12th when his erratic behaviour started to terrify other passengers.
The 32-year-old appeared at Liverpool Magistrates’ Court yesterday after he had pleaded guilty to boarding a flight when drunk. The court heard how an hour into the flight another passenger told cabin crew that Medway and his wife, who were with their three children, were having an argument. Subsequently, the couple were separated, and for 10 minutes Medway was calm.
Prosecutor, Laura Simpson, said the manager of cabin crew on the flight had to speak to him again as his behaviour was becoming worse. Medway later described himself as only being 50% drunk, but the court heard he had downed three quarters of a litre bottle of vodka before boarding the plane.
Ms Simpson told the court: “A passenger notified her he had been drinking duty-free and a litre bottle of vodka he had was three-quarters empty. He agreed to calm down but a short time later he was standing up being abusive to other passengers, shouting at them and provoking them into a response. He was unable to stay still.”
She added that the manager told the pilot and it was decided as the plane was only 45 minutes from Liverpool airport, they would continue the flight and not divert. However, she added that other passengers were upset by Medway’s behaviour, and that it was “one of the worst experiences I have had in 14 years working as cabin crew.”
“Medway was drunk, aggressive, and threatening other passengers and staff. His behaviour was very disturbing.”
As soon as the plane landed police boarded it and found Medway was standing in the aisle, waving his arms around and slurring his words, saying “the Mancs are terrorising me”.
Officers tried to calm him down before arresting him and escorting him from the plane, having to hold him up as he could barely walk because he was so intoxicated.
The court heard, as well as being banned from Ryanair flights, that the 32-year-old may be barred from Liverpool John Lennon Airport as well. Captain Ibrahim Nadim, defending, said that Medway, who had brought a large bag with him, was a hard-working man who had pleaded guilty.
District Judge Wendy Lloyd said: “You made a decision to drink far too much knowing you were going on a flight. No one could go anywhere, people were stuck in a tin box high in the sky and unable to get away from you. It must have been a terrifying experience for the people on that plane, the staff and other passengers. Even when you had been handcuffed you continued with your dreadful behaviour and were warned numerous times and staff on board gave you every opportunity to calm down”.
“Your suggestion you were only 50% drunk to the probation service is clearly nonsense as you were clearly drunk and even now trying to blame other passengers from Manchester and the police for your behaviour. You do not seem to fully take on board that all this was due to your bad behaviour”.
“You have a number of previous convictions including being drunk and disorderly in 2019 which suggests you have an ongoing issue with alcohol. You have worked as an HGV driver for some time, which for someone who has a drinking problem is rather concerning.”
DJ Lloyd said the probation report stated: “Despite his 32 years and being in full-time employment, you are in many ways an immature man and not able to take responsibility for your own actions. You certainly need to do that, you have a wife who is experiencing some health issues and you have three children.”
The judge said a 20-week jail sentence was appropriate, but as the probation service felt they could work with him in a positive way she would suspend it for 12 months. She also ordered Medway to carry out 240 hours unpaid work and 30 hours of rehabilitation activities and to pay costs totalling £274.
Addressing Medway in court, she said: “This is your opportunity to turn your life around. You are a man of contrasts – working hard, a family man and time from time behaving ridiculously and drink seems to be behind all these incidents.”
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