A judge in Ballymena has rubbished the amount of alcohol being consumed by air passengers after a court heard how a man who was late for a flight burst through the departure gate and ran onto the tarmac in Belfast International Airport.

Ikolas Sibuele (31), of an address given as Fishponds Road in Sheffield, admitted disorderly conduct, assaulting a female and entering a “restricted airfield area without authorisation”.

He also caused criminal damage by urinating and spitting on a police van, which cost £45 to clean.

Antrim Magistrates’ Court, sitting in Ballymena, heard today that at 4.30pm on April 14 this year, police were called to Stand 16 following reports that a man had been abusive towards Swissport staff.

Police said the defendant missed his flight to Manchester “due to the gate being closed” but Sibuele then “used another gate, pushing past a Swissport employee, onto the platform to try and get his flight”.

The prosecutor said the accused did not present his boarding pass and was not scanned at the exit.

The court heard that before the police arrived, the officer who had been pushed by Sibuele “chased him on the apron, stopped him and demanded his documents”.

The prosecutor said the defendant refused to produce the employee’s documents and threw his backpack at her, hitting her on the thigh and elbow, and she feared he was going to “hit” her.

The court heard that Sibuele “kept getting in her face, looking at her with glassy eyes and shouting that he was going to get on the plane no matter what she said”.

Sibuele then “sat down and refused to move” and was “screaming and shouting at the victim”.

Police took him to the domestic arrivals area and, despite pleas to calm down, he continued to shout at officers in front of the public.

During the interrogation, the accused stated that he “doesn’t remember any of the events because he was drunk.”

He said he kept asking to use the bathroom while he was in the cell van for more than an hour, but the prosecutor said police checked on him regularly and there were no requests to use the bathroom.

The court found that the accused previously had a clean record.

The lawyer said Sibuele had been in the UK since 2014 and had “successfully tried to apply for asylum since then”.

He was required to “try and raise money through his family to get the lawyer help” and after speaking to “a woman on the internet” who said she could “offer him help”, he ended up going to Belfast , which ended in a “wild goose chase.”

The accused’s lawyer told the court that the offense was “indecent” and “fuelled” by alcohol.

She said Sibuele was “very apologetic” and that he was “appalled and shocked” by his behaviour.

The lawyer said that the defendant is “not allowed to look for work and his financial situation is terrible. He is directly dependent on his aunt, who he lives with, to give him £100 a month to try to get by.’

The lawyer said the accused was “at breaking point in terms of trying to secure a place in the UK”.

District Judge Nigel Broderick told the defendant, who appeared by video link: “This behavior was very despicable. Alcohol is no excuse, and if it weren’t for the fact that you pleaded guilty and have a clear record, the court could easily impose a custodial sentence.

“This case only highlights the dangers associated with consuming alcohol while traveling, such as air travel. I see too many such cases.

“Those involved in air travel should consume much less alcohol, especially if they are unable to handle it, which is clearly the case in your position.”

The judge placed the defendant on probation for a year and ordered him to perform 120 hours of community service and pay £45 in compensation to clean his cell.

The defendant told the court: “I’m sorry for your behavior.”

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