Passenger's sentence suspended


A passenger who grabbed a woman's breasts in a drunken incident aboard a holiday flight to Spain was given a three-month suspended jail sentence yesterday.

Thomas Barrett (31), a farmer from Cordal, Castleisland, Co Kerry, pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting the woman and violent behaviour during a flight to Las Palmas last May 23rd.

Dublin District Court heard that Barrett and a friend drank a tray of beer and some wine before and during the three-hour flight.

Later in the flight, he twice grabbed the breasts of a woman he was sitting behind. When she told him to stop, he threatened her.

Shortly before landing, he started to make his way towards the cockpit, and the crew, with the help of three passengers, restrained him.

He was handed over to the authorities at Las Palmas.

When he arrived home he spent some time as a patient in a psychiatric hospital and was still attending the out-patient clinic.

He had no previous convictions.

Judge David Anderson imposed a three-month sentence on the sexual assault charge, suspended on condition he is not convicted under the Criminal Law Rape Act or the Public Order Act within the next 12 months.