Edinburgh crime: Samuel Smith who launched foul-mouthed tirade at Ryanair cabin crew over cold lasagne avoids jail

Man shouted his in-flight meal was “f***ing freezing” and yelled “Ryanair is sh**e” during outburst

A drunk Scot who caused a disturbance on board a Ryanair flight after claiming he had been served up a cold lasagne has escaped a jail term by the “narrowest of margins”. Samuel Smith shouted at cabin crew that his pasta meal was “f***ing freezing” before yelling “Ryanair is sh*te” during his angry outburst.

The 64-year-old then lashed out at his wife who was attempting to calm him by taking off his wedding ring and launching it at her, a court heard. The aircraft’s captain alerted police who were waiting for Smith when the plane landed at Edinburgh Airport in August 2020.

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Samuel Smith outside Edinburgh court (Photo: Alexander Lawrie)

Smith pleaded guilty to a charge of committing a breach of the peace during the flight from Gran Canaria when he appeared at Edinburgh Sheriff Court last year. He returned to the dock for sentencing on Tuesday (January 10) where Sheriff Adrian Fraser acknowledged this was the third domestic offence to land him in court.

Sheriff Adrian Fraser said: “As I have indicated to you, this is a very serious offence committed against the background of domestic offending and given the location on board an aeroplane.However [custody] will not address your domestic offending and it would directly impact your wife and deprive her of your income.

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“Your offending is at least partly alcohol related and I have been told you have stopped drinking. Given all this, I consider by the narrowest of margins that there is an alternative to custody.”

Smith, from Springburn, Glasgow, was placed on a supervision order for 28 months and told he must complete 270 hours of unpaid work in the community as a direct alternative to custody.

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Samuel Smith outside Edinburgh court (Photo: Alexander Lawrie)

Sheriff Fraser also issued a conduct requirement whereby Smith will have to attend alcohol counselling and a domestic abuse course. The sheriff said: “If you breach the order I have imposed in any way be under no illusions that if you come back before me for a breach then uppermost in my mind will be custody.”

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Previously the court was told Smith had been drinking alcohol at the airport in Gran Canaria before his flight to Edinburgh took off around 7.25pm on 22 August 2020.

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Fiscal depute Chelsea Martin said: “Around 45 minutes into the flight the accused consumed a small bottle of Prosecco and ordered food. On arrival of the food the accused began shouting and swearing in relation to the condition of the food.

“He was heard to shout ‘That lasagne is f***ing freezing, I’m not taking that’. [...] ‘Ryanair is sh*te’ and ‘this is unfair’. He was then heard to call the complainer ‘a f***ing bas**rd’.”

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The court was told Mrs Smith had attempted to calm her husband down and had “made him aware the police would be called”. Ms Martin said: “Upon this the accused has removed his wedding ring and thrown it at the complainer.”

Solicitor Chris Fehilly, defending, told the court Smith and his wife Anne had been married for 18 years and the couple were now “back together as man and wife” following the aircraft bust up. Mr Fehilly said his client had stopped drinking alcohol since the incident and had shown “genuine remorse” for his actions.