By Carol Byrne
THE niece of fashion designer Ralph Lauren has appeared before a sitting of Killaloe District Court on Tuesday charged with being a danger to herself or others on an international flight.
Forty-one-year-old Jennifer Lauren, of New York, was on board a flight that was diverted to Shannon on Monday while en route from Barcelona to JFK.
Ms Lauren is charged with being intoxicated to such an extent that she would endanger herself or others on board a Delta Airlines flight on Monday, January 6.
She is also charged with engaging in behaviour likely to cause serious offence or annoyance to those on board the flight, having been requested by a crew member to cease this behaviour.
She is further charged with engaging in behaviour of a threatening, abusive or insulting nature on the aircraft.
Garda Yvette Walsh gave evidence of arresting Ms Lauren at Shannon Airport on Monday at 2.05pm and that Ms Lauren said after caution, “can you say that in English please”.
Garda Walsh said she brought Ms Lauren to Shannon Garda Station where she was formally charged with the three counts under the Air Navigation and Transport Act 1973, but she made no replies after caution in respect of the charges. She was remanded in custody overnight.
Sharon Curley of Carmody and Co Solicitors in Shannon said her client wished to enter a plea of guilty to the charges.
Judge Patrick Durcan said he would not take a plea and felt it was a case best dealt with in Ennis District Court on Wednesday.
Inspector Tom Kennedy, prosecuting, said the defendant remained in custody and that as she did not live in the jurisdiction, there was a question over where she would reside if granted bail.
He requested that a cash lodgement be made if bail was granted and also requested that a signing-on condition be attached. He added that gardaí would retain Ms Lauren’s passport.
Ms Curley said her client’s travelling companion was staying in the Oakwood Arms Hotel in Shannon and proposed that her client reside there.
Ms Lauren gave evidence confirming she was an American citizen and held no other passports.
Judge Durcan said before deciding the case that he would want to know the extent of how Ms Lauren’s actions upset those on board the flight, the cost of the incident to the airline and also to the airport. He said these issues would have to be addressed before he would deal with the matter.
Ms Lauren offered a cash lodgement of €800, but it was deemed too little by the judge and he ordered that €2,500 be lodged. She was granted bail.
Judge Patrick Durcan said he noted the plea of guilty entered by Ms Lauren and remanded her for sentence to Ennis District Court on Wednesday. As a condition of her bail, she is to reside at the Oakwood Arms Hotel, Shannon and is to sign on this evening between 6pm and 9pm at Shannon Garda Station.