Ryanair flight: Passenger raging about leg room tried to throw airport police officer off plane in huge row

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A court in Dublin heard how a man on board a Ryanair flight attempted to throw an airport police officer from the plane after complaining about leg room

A row on board a Ryanair flight caused a passenger to attempt to throw an airport security official from the plane, a court has heard. The incident occurred on a flight from Dublin to Majorca on 22 October 2022 while the plane was on the tarmac at Dublin Airport’s Terminal 1.

Mechanic Sergejs Laurenouies, 38, had complained that another passenger was in his booked seat. The dad-of-two was offered an alternative seat but he said he did not have enough legroom.

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Dublin District Court heard that the plane was “fully boarded and ready to depart” when Laurenouies became agitated and there was a strong smell of alcohol from him. Dublin Airport Police officer Barry Nevin was called along with two colleagues when the plane had boarded but Laurenouies was allegedly abusive and “attempted to throw him out the door of the plane”.

Officer Nevin held onto the railings resulting in abrasions and cuts to his hands. Laurenouies denied attacking Mr Nevin and claimed he suffered two broken arms and had to wear a cast as a result of being hurt during his arrest.

However, the court heard he was seen by a doctor and when taken to a garda station he did not provide medical evidence to support his claim. Judge John Hughes convicted him of the assault and said he did not accept his evidence.

A court in Dublin heard how a man on board a Ryanair flight attempted to throw an airport police officer from the plane after complaining about leg room. (Photo: BELGA/AFP via Getty Images)A court in Dublin heard how a man on board a Ryanair flight attempted to throw an airport police officer from the plane after complaining about leg room. (Photo: BELGA/AFP via Getty Images)
A court in Dublin heard how a man on board a Ryanair flight attempted to throw an airport police officer from the plane after complaining about leg room. (Photo: BELGA/AFP via Getty Images) | BELGA/AFP via Getty Images

The Latvian national had lived and worked in Ireland for 20 years and had no prior criminal convictions. Sergejs Laurenouies, 38, of Ballytrasna, Ballycullane, Wexford, was handed a six-month suspended sentence following his hearing at Dublin District Court. Judge Hughes also fined him €1,000 and ordered him to pay €1,000 compensation to Dublin Airport Police officer Barry Nevin.

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Judge Hughes also directed that he could not board any flight from Ireland unless sober and presented himself to airport officials four hours before departure. Following legal submissions from defence solicitor Michael French, the accused was cleared of a connected charge for being intoxicated to the extent he was a danger to himself and others on the plane. The judge set recognizance bail at €500 in the event of an appeal.

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