'Not a criminal, sir': Ryanair steward Sam Thompson pleads guilty to drinking while on flight duty
ESSEX, ENGLAND: A Ryanair steward testified in court after admitting to consuming liquor while on duty on a flight. On May 18, a passenger observed Sam Thompson drinking Jack Daniels from a cart and, afterward, drinking a small quantity of wine, according to testimony presented at Chelmsford Magistrates' Court, Essex.
The 26-year-old flight attendant was employed on the aircraft traveling from Poland to Stanstead Airport in Essex. Originally, Thompson was a cabin crew member from Warrenfield Close in Cheshunt, Hertfordshire. Last month, Thompson confessed to working while intoxicated while he executed the airline's tasks, although he testified that he was "not a criminal."
Originally scheduled to be prosecuted on Monday, August 1, Thompson was instead placed for trial on August 31 at Chelmsford Crown Court. According to prosecutor Ashley Petchey, Thompson is of outstanding character. He also pointed out that the situation is exceptional since there are no punishment standards, hinting that this is because the offense is uncommon.
Petchey said that the violation might result in a penalty not exceeding the legal limit, a period of imprisonment not exceeding two years. Both the aforementioned punishments are under section 95 of the Railways and Transport Safety Act of 2003. They decided to refer the case to Crown Court since judges may only impose penalties of up to 12 months in jail for a single offense.
Thompson's attorney, Michael Carroll, expressed regret that the issue could not be resolved as scheduled but asserted that he has good recommendations to provide before the crown court magistrate. Chairman of the judge, Stuart Cranmer, said, "We would like Mr Thompson to gain help. Clearly, there will be a punishment element to it but hopefully, you will get help." In reply, Carroll said, "I am grateful for your words. I'm sure they give some comfort to Mr Thompson." Carroll also mentioned the fact that Thompson does not have a high alcohol tolerance. Cranmer extended Thompson's unconditional bail, but he was warned to appear in court for sentencing and to refrain from committing any more crimes in the interim.
Thompson stepped up in front of the magistrate and stated, "I am not a criminal, sir," while donning a white shirt, black pants, and brown shoes. The court has been told that on May 18, at around 6.10 pm, a witness reported seeing the uniformed flight attendant consuming alcohol while on duty. Prior to providing a lesser value of 39mcg at the Harlow police station, Thompson provided a result of 50mcg of alcohol in 100ml of breath when the authorities obtained a breath sample from him at Stansted Airport. The court has already learned that the permissible limit for aviation employees is 9mcg of alcohol per 100ml of breath, which is even lower than the legal limit for driving, which is 35mcg of alcohol per 100ml of breath.