A RYANAIR passenger accused of stealing two paninis on a flight decided that he wanted to have his case – related to €10 worth of food – dealt with by a judge and jury at Cork Circuit Criminal Court.
Some charges including theft carry an option for a defendant to have their case dealt with by indictment rather than summarily at district court level.
Yesterday at Cork District Court defence solicitor Frank Buttimer said Michael Murphy from 36 Riverview Estate, Tower in Blarney wanted to go to trial before a judge and a jury on the charge of stealing two paninis on a Ryanair flight.
“He is electing for trial on indictment on the Section 4 theft,” Mr Buttimer said.
Judge Olann Kelleher clarified that the alleged theft of €10 worth of food, namely two paninis, was to be dealt with by indictment.
Mr Buttimer said, “Yes, jury trial.” Judge Kelleher commented, “He is entitled to do that.”
The case was adjourned until January 24 on the application of Inspector Ronan Kennelly to allow time for the preparation of a book of evidence.
Other charges arising out of the investigation of an alleged air rage incident on board a Ryanair flight from Tenerife to Cork in May were also adjourned to the same date.
Murphy appeared before Cork District Court on a total of five charges arising out of the incident on board the flight on May 1st, 2017. Murphy, 35, is charged with assaulting air stewardess, Antonia Villano on board Ryanair Flight FR1401 from Tenerife to Cork contrary to Section 2 of the Non-Fatal Offences against the Person Act.
He is also charged with being intoxicated to such an extent that he might give rise to a reasonable apprehension that he was a danger to himself or others on board the flight.
Murphy is further charged with making a threat to Antonia Villano to damage property belonging to Ryanair, namely the aeroplane cabin contrary to Section 3 of the Criminal Damage Act.
He is charged with engaging in threatening, abusive or insulting behaviour with intent to cause a breach of the peace contrary to Section 2A of the Air Navigation and Transport Act.
Finally, he is charged with stealing two paninis to the value of €10, the property of Ryanair on board the flight contrary to the Criminal Justice Theft and Fraud Offences Act.
Inspector Brian O’Donovan previously stated that the prosecution would allege that Mr Murphy took two paninis without paying for them leading to an incident from which the other charges stemmed.
Co-accused Stacey O’Mahony, 20, of 1 Innishmore Square, Ballincollig represented by Eddie Burke, solicitor, had her case adjourned to December 20 on charges of stealing the €10 worth of food, being drunk and a danger, being threatening and abusive and assaulting Michela Ferri.