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Cabin crew ‘carried vodka-swigging drunk onto flight’

March 23, 2018 Headline News No Comments Email Email

A 63-year-old intoxicated passenger gulping vodka from an open bottle and staggering at the airport was clearly too drunk to board his flight by himself – so when cabin crew spotted him they helped carry him aboard, a court has heard.

Paisley Sheriff Court in Scotland heard that Polish national Andrzej Bielicz drank so much vodka at Warsaw’s Chopin Airport he couldn’t walk properly.

Astonishingly, cabin crew apparently helped carry him aboard the Wizz Air flight to Glasgow, where Bielicz spent the journey shouting incoherently and lashing out. Wizz Air is a Hungarian low-cost carrier, headquartered in Budapest, which claims to be the largest budget airline in Central and Eastern Europe.

The unfortunate passenger sitting next to Bielicz on the flight tried to calm and restrain the drunken Pole, the court heard. Bielicz then attacked him, seized his middle finger and pulled it so hard it broke.

Polish vodka

Bielicz, who moved to Scotland seven years ago, appeared in court for sentence.

The BBC reported that Bielicz had earlier pleaded guilty to charges of assaulting the adjoining passenger, Samuel Wojenski, and behaving in a threatening or abusive manner by repeatedly shouting, while aboard the flight on 27 September 2016.

A charge of breaking the law by being drunk aboard the flight was dropped.

The court heard that another male passenger asked Bielicz to stop shouting but Bielicz refused. Instead, he tried to square up to the man, but was so drunk he couldn’t stand up.

The man who Bielicz attacked, Wojenski, had to go to hospital when the plane landed, to have his broken finger seen to.

Defence solicitor Tony Callahan said his client had very little recollection of the incident but “accepts he was heavily intoxicated. It is somewhat surprising he was even permitted to board the aircraft.”

In Scotland, sheriffs deal with most civil and criminal cases. Sheriff James Spy spared Beilicz, a first offender, from jail, placing him on a community payback order, as an alternative to custody.

“This type of behaviour on an aircraft is very serious,” Sheriff Spy told Beilicz.

“Why you were permitted to drink from an open bottle of vodka at Chopin airport, I do not know.

“I don’t know why you were allowed to board while drunk.

“The air crew seemed to be playing little part in this disturbance and it seems there was little effort made to contain the behaviour by them.”

Beilicz, who works as a handyman for a dentist, must undergo alcohol counselling. He will be supervised by social workers and must carry out 220 hours of unpaid work.

Written by Peter Needham

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