An Irish pianist due to play at a wedding was arrested on a flight to Manchester after hurling druken abuse at cabin crew having being suspected of smoking on board.
Lee McVicker, 23, had posted a message on Facebook from Belfast Airport before takeoff saying: “I want to thankyou for having me all the way from Northern Ireland.
“What a pleasure! A big congratulations and blessings for the future!”
Around three hours later the former Irish Guardsman was arrested after cabin crew aboard an Easyjet flight to Manchester said he became abusive to them after he was suspected of smoking.
During Sunday’s incident, McVicker was said to be ‘extremely drunk’ and ‘consistently swearing’.
He told officers: “I’m f***ing sorry, you know what, f*** it, f*** off, I’m an honours student you f***.”
Police identified McVicker, who was slurring his words and unsteady on his feet, from his passport, magistrates in Manchester heard.
He was held overnight in cells before being freed – 24 hours before the wedding was due to take place in York.
McVicker, from Bushmills, County Antrim, admitted being drunk and disorderly and was fined £200.
Miss Risha Seth prosecuting said: “It was 5.10pm on December 17, 2017. Officers on patrol at Manchester Airport were called to attend at Terminal 1 to reports of a male on an EasyJet flight from Belfast.
“A member of cabin crew reported that he was drunk and disorderly on board. Alcohol could be smelt on his breath.
“There were reports that a male had been suspected of smoking on board and being argumentative with the crew.
“Police arrived and the drunken male was found and spoken to. He was identified by way of his passport.
“It became apparent McVicker’s was extremely intoxicated, he was slurring his words and unsteady on his feet. He was consistently swearing, which he was advised not to do.
“Because of his behaviour within the terminal building and disruption he was arrested for being drunk and disorderly.”
JP Andrew Jeffay told McVicker: “This incident was in an airport and on an airplane.
“You were abusive to the police who, to be fair, have got better things to be doing keeping other people safe rather than dealing with this misbehaviour.
“We do feel this incident is unacceptable to a lot of people. The fine will be for £200 – and that represents an expensive drink.”
McVicker will also pay £85 prosecution costs and a £30 victim surcharge.
The musician, who has played the piano since he was five, has held positions of musical director in churches in the Bushmills area.