herald

Monday 11 December 2017

Flyer accused of 9/11 air rage has case dropped

A HOLIDAYMAKER who had been accused of punching a Dublin Airport police officer in the face when he was removed from a plane full of nervous passengers on the 10th anniversary of September 11 has had the case against him dismissed.

It had been alleged Stephen Dunne (26) attacked the officer as he was taken off the charter plane to Lanzarote which had been delayed for seven hours.

He was cleared of breaching air transport regulations following legal argument by his defence.

The prosecution had sought to withdraw the charge and have it struck out at the conclusion of its case, but Judge Grainne Malone instead agreed to a dismissal.

It had been alleged that Mr Dunne was asked to leave because of his behaviour on the plane, where there was already a "bad atmosphere" among the passengers following delays.

Mr Dunne, of Forth Road, East Wall, was found not guilty of obstructing or impeding an authorised officer or failing to comply with a request to disembark an aircraft.

The offence, which he had denied, was alleged to have happened at Dublin Airport on September 11, 2011.

The officers involved had denied the defence's contention that they were "heavy handed".

The court heard the aircraft was fully boarded and some passengers expressed their "considerable concern" about being on the flight.

In cross-examination, Diarmuid Collins, defending, said that September 11 was "a suspicious day" in terms of air travel being cheaper and airport security being heightened.

Judge Malone said she was dismissing the case on two grounds but added that this was "technical".

aphelan@herald.ie

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