Air rage passenger is fined $700

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An air rage passenger who hurled abuse at crew and families on board the flight was yesterday fined $700.

Magistrates’ Court heard that Helder Viera shouted obscenities at other passengers, which forced them to move seats on the BA flight from London and Bermuda.

Magistrate Khamisi Tokunbo said the maximum $1,000 fine for the offence was “peanuts”.

He added: “This penalty encourages people to behave like this.”

The court heard that Viera, 53, had downed a mix of alcoholic drinks but “appeared lucid” when he began to hurl obscenities at a young family two hours into the flight.

He shouted at the family, saying they “act like a f***ing dog”.

He was warned by cabin crew to calm down.

But Viera said: “You are all f***ing back taking our jobs.”

He was told that he would not be served any more alcohol and was later issued a Captain’s Violation Notice.

Viera told crew members: “That’s fine. I will do whatever it takes to make this plane divert and report it to my solicitor in the morning.”

Viera, from Pembroke, was escorted off the BA flight by police when it arrived in Bermuda on December 31 last year and spent New Year’s Eve in custody.

The defendant admitted using threatening words and disorderly behaviour on an aircraft.

Viera apologised for his actions and said that he had been tired.

He admitted he had “stepped over the boundary”.

Defence lawyer Elizabeth Christopher said Viera disputed some of the comments he was alleged to have made.

She added: “He is very apologetic to everyone, especially the crew. He is embarrassed. This was an unfortunate set of circumstances.”

But Mr Tokunbo told Viera the situation was “all of your own making”.

It is The Royal Gazette’s policy not to allow comments on stories regarding court cases. As we are legally liable for any slanderous or defamatory comments made on our website, this move is for our protection as well as that of our readers.

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