‘Rowdy’ mum drunk on Ryanair flight avoids jail because ‘crew kept serving her’

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A RYANAIR passenger avoided jail for being drunk onboard a plane because she said the crew kept serving her alcohol.

Mum-of-two Emma Connell was instead handed a £400 (€457) fine for being “drunk and rowdy” on a Ryanair flight from Mallorca to Manchester.

Tameside magistrates court heard from her defence lawyer, who claimed flight staff kept giving her miniatures that “reacted badly with her medication”.

Ms Connell, aged 39, was detained at Manchester Airport last September following a flight home from Mallorca after police were told she had been “abusive to staff and passengers while being heavily intoxicated”, reports the Mirror.

When questioned, Connell, from Ashton-under-Lyne, Greater Manchester, claimed airline staff on Flight FR3446 had “continuously served her alcohol miniatures” even though she was “clearly drunk” and that the alcohol had “reacted badly” with her prescription medication.

A court heard that despite her arrest, no statements were taken from Ryanair staff or passengers to corroborate or disprove her claims.


Connell was facing a maximum of two years in jail after admitting to being drunk on an aircraft, but walked free due to the lack of information provided from other parties involved.

Joseph Seale, prosecuting said: “On the 8th September 2022, police officers attended Manchester airport following a report that there had been a disturbance made by a passenger in a plane bound for Manchester.

“The report stated that the defendant had been abusive to staff and passengers while on board the flight.

“When the plane landed, the officers spoke to the crew and then escorted the defendant off the plane and arrested her. They noted that she was still heavily intoxicated at the time.

“She fully complied with the officers throughout. Although police were assisted with identifying the defendant on the plane, no other passengers, or Ryanair staff gave comment or statements for the investigation. ”

Connell, who has a history of drink-related offending, had taken a “strong anti-depressant sedative” that reacted with the alcohol and “explained her behaviour” on the flight.

Her defence lawyer Ian Owen said: “She gave an early plea and understands the seriousness of her actions.

“This was simply a question of the defendant being drunk on a plane, it is worth noting that the Ryanair staff were seemingly fine to serve her with more miniatures while she was clearly drunk on the plane.

“Evidence from Ryanair staff would have made the whole process a lot clearer as they would have had clearer evidence of what happened on board.

“This omission is significantly as entering or being on an aircraft when drunk can incur a maximum jail term of two years if deemed serious enough.

“It is also worth noting that at the time she was taking mirtazapine, a strong anti-depressant sedative that when combined with alcohol can have some unwanted effects. This goes part of the way to explaining her behaviour on the flight.”

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Vickie S
Written by

Vickie Scullard

A journalist of more than 12 years from Manchester, UK, Vickie now lives in Madrid and works as a news writer for the Euro Weekly News.