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DJ will not be charged over lewd flight act

DJ Neil Prenderville has escaped charges for his lewd act on an Aer Lingus flight.

The broadcaster got off prosecution on a technicality, after he allegedly masturbated on a flight from Heathrow in front of horrified passengers.

The radio presenter will not be punished because the act took place outside Irish jurisdiction, on October 19 last.

Gardai submitted a file to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) after they had received complaints about Prendeville's actions.

However, witnesses to the incident have been told by the DPP that the case will not proceed because of the technicality.

The Cork 96fm presenter exposed himself and masturbated in view of two air hostesses and journalist Niamh Hennessy.

He committed the offence as the aircraft taxied to the runway at Heathrow, in preparation for take-off.

The witnesses later made statements to gardai, who submitted a file to the DPP.

But it is understood that, because of the nature of the offence, jurisdiction lies in England, rather than Ireland.

His solicitor Gerald Kean told the Herald today he had no comment on the matter.

Ms Hennessy, who was sitting beside Prendeville on the flight, has expressed her dismay at the developments, saying what the radio presenter did was wrong.

It is unclear whether Prendeville will now resume his job with 96fm. He has been on leave since the details of the incident became public.

Prendeville has apologised for his actions but says he has no memory of what happened due to a combination of drink and painkillers.

comurphy@herald.ie