Ryanair flight diverted after vodka-fuelled passenger threatens to punch crew

A Ryanair flight was diverted on New Year's Eve after a drunken passenger threatened to punch members of the cabin crew.

Adam Lennon, 22, was on board the flight from Murcia, Spain, to Dublin in Ireland on January 31, 2019, Dublin Live reports.

Everything was going smoothly until airline staff noticed Lennon and a friend drinking their own alcohol, acting drunk and play-fighting, Bristol Crown Court heard on Friday.

When staff spoke to the troublesome pair, Lennon threatened to punch them, the court heard. The two men were then separated.

Mark Worsley, prosecuting, said Lennon then told a cabin crew member to "f*** off", prompting the pilot to issue an intercom message reminding passengers to comply with the crew and not to drink their own alcohol onboard the plane.

Lennon continued to be disruptive, and eventually the captain decided to divert the flight and make an unexpected landing at Bristol Airport, which cost Ryanair almost £6,000.

Police officers, airport security and fire services were there waiting for the plane.

"Police went on the plane and Mr Lennon presented his hands for handcuffs immediately," Mr Worsley told the court.

"He was taken off the plane. He was clearly drunk and slurring and had a half empty bottle of vodka between his knees."

The following day Lennon was interviewed by police, and told them his friend had bought the vodka. He also denied having threatened to punch cabin crew.

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"He said his behaviour was unacceptable," Mr Worsley said.

"It is clear others on board were worried about what happened."

He added that authority states anyone convicted of being drunk on an aircraft must expect a custodial sentence.

Absenting himself, Lennon pleaded guilty to being drink on an aircraft.

The court heard he had not cooperated with his legal team and was thought to be in either Ireland or Italy.

Judge Michael Longman concluded he was legally able to sentence Lennon in his absence, and jailed him for four months.

"One can imagine his behaviour was alarming, in a closed space and at altitude, and such that it caused annoyance and disruption to a number of passengers," he said.

The judge also ordered Lennon to pay Ryanair £5,893.09 — the full cost of its diversion bill.

He said the airline could decide whether to ban Lennon from flying with them again.

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