A drunk air passenger who broke a fellow traveller’s finger has avoided jail for the incident in which he was carried on to the plane because he was struggling to walk due to drinking too much vodka.
In a drunken episode, Andrzej Bielicz, 63, forced other passengers to endure his shouting on a two hour flight to Glasgow from Poland in September of 2016.
The Polish national was seen drinking straight from a bottle of vodka at Warsaw Chopin Airport and was so intoxicated he couldn’t walk on his own, with Wizz Air cabin crew attendants having to help him board the plane.
At one point Bielicz, who moved to Scotland seven years ago, became violent and attacked fellow traveller Samuel Wojenski, who was trying to calm him down, breaking his finger and sending him to hospital.
Bielicz avoided jail time when he was sentenced at Paisley Sheriff Court on Tuesday, and instead received a community payback order, ordered to undergo alcohol counselling and complete 220 hours of community service.
Andrzej Bielicz, 63, a Polish national, avoided jail time when sentenced at Paisley Sheriff Court on Tuesday. He broke a fellow passenger’s finger during a drunken episode on a Wizz Air flight to Glasgow in 2016
Bielicz was seen drinking straight from a bottle of vodka at Warsaw Chopin Airport and was so intoxicated he couldn’t walk on his own, with Wizz Air cabin crew attendants having to help him board the plane. Pictured: File photo of Wizz Air plane
Bielicz had earlier pleaded guilty to assault charges and behaving in an abusive or threatening way, according to the BBC.
The incident began when fellow passengers spotted Bielicz, who lives in Airdrie, North Lanarkshire, guzzling vodka at the airport.
Mail Online has reached out to Wizz Air for comment and did not receive a response by the time of publication.
Bielicz was so drunk that he struggled to walk and had to be helped onto the plane by Wizz Air crew members.
Procurator Fiscal Depute Margaret McCallum said: ‘He was seen by witnesses within Chopin Airport drinking from an open bottle of vodka and struggling to walk, swaying from side to side.’
The incident began when fellow passengers spotted Bielicz, who lives in Airdrie, North Lanarkshire, guzzling vodka at the airport. Pictured: Paisley Sheriff Court
WHAT ARE THE RULES FOR DRINKING WHILE FLYING ON WIZZ AIR?
Although many travellers look forward to a drink while flying, it is illegal to be drunk while on a plane.
If cabin members feel that a passenger is too intoxicated, they can report the passenger.
If a severely drunk flyer causes problems by being disruptive during the flight, they are likely to be met by police when the aircraft lands.
Airlines can also refuse drunk passengers from boarding if they believe they are too intoxicated and will be disruptive.
Offenders can receive a maximum sentence of two years’ imprisonment, according to the Civil Aviation Authority.
They also can be slapped with a maximum fine of £5,000.
According to a Wizz Air safety information card from 2014, the airline has a ‘zero-tolerance policy with regard to passengers who are verbally or physically disruptive towards any other person on board the aircraft.
‘In all cases of disruptive or abusive behaviour by passengers, the crew will always put the safety of the aircraft, crew and other passengers first.
‘They will follow related safety procedures and notify the authorities.’
McCallum continued: ‘At around 18:30 the flight boarded and the witnesses saw the accused boarding the flight in an extremely intoxicated state, being assisted by members of the cabin crew.
‘The accused started shouting loudly.’
Defence solicitor Tony Callahan said of Bielicz: ‘He has very little recollection of this incident and accepts he was heavily intoxicated.
‘It is somewhat surprising he was even permitted to board the aircraft.’
Bielicz was disruptive and shouting on the plane so another passenger asked him to be quiet.
This enraged Bielicz and he tried to face off against the passenger, but was so drunk he couldn’t stand.
Mr Wojenski tried to calm and restrain Bielicz as he began wildly kicking and thrashing his arms around.
Mr Wojenski was injured when Bielicz grabbed his middle finger and pulled it violently, breaking the finger.
Sheriff James Spy said: ‘This type of behaviour on an aircraft is very serious.
‘Why you were permitted to drink from an open bottle of vodka at Chipon airport, I do not know.’
He continued: ‘I don’t know why you were allowed to board while drunk.
‘The air crew seemed to be playing little part in this disturbance and it seems there was little effort made to contain the behaviour by them.
‘It’s quite beyond my comprehension that police at Glasgow airport were not alerted to a potentially very dangerous situation on board the flight.
‘The decision not to advise the police in advance [of the flight landing] must have been down to a decision made by the flight crew.
‘I have taken all these matters in to account. If you don’t cooperate [with the -Kind Regards Payback] Order, you can go to jail.’