Jenny Lauren fined in Ireland for being drunk on Delta flight
Associated Press in Dublin
The niece of fashion designer Ralph Lauren has been fined €2,000 (HK$21,128) for an "air rage" incident on a New York-bound plane that forced it to land in Ireland.
Jewellery designer Jenny Lauren pleaded guilty yesterday to breaching the peace and being drunk on the Delta Air Lines flight from Barcelona, Spain to New York. The crew made an unscheduled two-hour stop at Shannon, the airport in western Ireland, to remove her.
Defence attorney Sharon Curley told an Irish court that 41-year-old Lauren, who suffers from depression, was embarrassed by her actions which were caused by a reaction to alcohol mixed with medication.
The charges against Lauren included making threats and abusive comments, exhibiting drunkenness severe enough to pose a danger to herself and others and behaving in an obnoxious fashion.
The Irish law governing "air rage" cases gives wide latitude to the judge to impose sentences ranging from probation to, in cases of hijacking, life in prison.
Court officials said the typical handling of cases such as Lauren's involved the imposition of a cash fine and a suspended sentence. Lauren covered her face from photographers and was driven away from the court in a sports utility vehicle with dark-tinted windows.
Tuesday's makeshift court session was held in a pub in the riverside village of Ballina, County Tipperary, about 30 kilometres east of the airport.
While western Ireland has several official court buildings, junior judges often travel roving circuits and hold weekly hearings in different public houses in outlying villages, to make it easier for residents of rural areas to attend.
Police officer Yvette Walsh testified that Lauren told officers as they were explaining the reasons for her arrest: "Can you say that in English, please?"
English is the near universally spoken language in Ireland.