18th November 2018
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Abusive behaviour at Sumburgh Airport costs diabetic man £400

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A diabetic who became abusive in an airport departure lounge after drinking has been told he was fortunate he had not been planning a trip with United Airlines – the carrier at the centre of a row over its treatment of a passenger who was forced off a flight.

Christopher Parker, 37, of Morvich Way, Inverness, intended to board a flight at Sumburgh on 31st July last year. He behaved in a threatening manner by shouting, swearing and threatening airport staff.

At Lerwick Sheriff Court today, procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie said it came as no surprise that drink was involved. “There were other people about who did not have the ability to get away from him,” the fiscal said.

Defence agent Tommy Allan said Parker had type one diabetes. Following his diagnosis, he had not had stopped drinking for fear of the effect alcohol may have on him. At the time of the offence Parker had already spent a year without drinking any alcohol. But he was nervous about flying on the day of the offence, and took drink.

“He tells me he’s not had a drink since this incident,” Mr Allan told the court. “He fully accepts his behaviour was not acceptable.”

His offending meant Parker was not allowed on the flight and he was forced to take accommodation overnight.

Fining him £400, Sheriff Philip Mann told Parker: “This behaviour was totally unacceptable. I can understand the explanation for it is drink, but that’s no excuse, by any means.

“You are perhaps fortunate it was a Loganair flight, rather than a United Airlines one, because you might have ended up with something more serious happening to you.”