'Air rage' passenger who shouted 'Everybody dies if its corona or not' has sentencing further adjourned at court in Ballymena

'Air rage' passenger who shouted 'Everybody dies if its corona or not' has sentencing further adjourned at court in Ballymena

A PASSENGER who was involved in an 'air rage' incident when a video clip showed her not wearing a mask and appearing to cough whilst saying 'everybody dies if it's corona or not,' has had the case at Antrim Magistrates Court, sitting in Ballymena, further adjourned.

Sarah McGuire (40), of Tyrconnell Street in Derry/Londonderry, has admitted charges including assault; being disorderly at Belfast International Airport; failing to obey a pilot's command; behaving in a threatening, abusive, insulting or disorderly manner towards a crew member and resisting a police officer.

The charges relate to October 18, 2020.

A video clip of the incident was shared on social media and showed the defendant making an outburst as she left the plane which was still on the ground in Belfast.

The case was mentioned again, Court News NI can report, at court on Tuesday January 25.

District Judge Nigel Broderick told an earlier court that on October 18, 2020, McGuire was a "disruptive passenger on a flight to Edinburgh".

He added: "In the bar there was an assault".

A prosecutor told the earlier court: "She had been off-loaded from a flight which was bound for Edinburgh. A member of staff at the bar had advised police that the female had 'assaulted' him by removing her mask and coughing on him.

"He believed that she was going to strike him at the time.

"It later transpired that following enquiries with easyJet crew onboard the aircraft that she had been verbally abusive to crew and other passengers, coughing over passengers, shouting 'Everybody dies'."

Judge Broderick had noted sentencing had been deferred last April with a condition that McGuire did not re-offend.

The court heard that McGuire had then failed to appear at court last October and an arrest warrant had been issued which was executed on December 1 and she received bail on December 10.

The case had then been adjourned to December 21 and subsequently to January 18; then to January 25.

At the January 18 court, a prosecutor said the defendant had been accused over another alleged incident - three assaults on police, resisting police, being disorderly and criminal damage on November 29 last year.

The prosecutor said that case was listed for court in Derry/Londonderrry for January 20.

A defence lawyer told a recent court McGuire had not attended court in October as she had been in Scotland celebrating a child's birthday.

Judge Broderick told the defence lawyer he could deal with the defendant at the January 18 Court "but it may not go well for your client," or he could adjourn the matter pending the outcome of the January 20 case.

The lawyer had said it was "likely be be guilty pleas" on January 20.

He said the defendant had not been arrested during the initial six months deferral period but Judge Broderick said: "I think then, the wheels came off because she didn't engage with the deferral in so far as she didn't attend for the deferred date.

"There was an arrest warrant issued and now she has 're-offended'. I can't just ignore that."

The defence lawyer said there was a "terrible context here in relation to this case".

At court in Ballymena on Tuesday January 25 it was heard the case in Derry/Londonderry has still to be finalised and the 'air rage' case was put back to February 22.

  • Main image: General picture of Belfast International Airport.