A man climbed over three fences and snuck into the luggage hold of a Virgin Atlantic plane because he thought it looked ‘cool’… then jumped off before it started to leave.
Martin Rudzki, 35, had been sleeping rough on Manchester Airport grounds for five weeks, Manchester Magistrates’ Court heard.
However, in December last year he was spotted by security officials wandering around an unauthorized zone smelling ‘strongly’ of alcohol.
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Police spoke with Rudzki, who told them he had climbed over three fences from the Radisson Blu Hotel and entered a plane through the luggage hold in order to smoke a cigarette.
After he was arrested, he later told officers he had been walking along the Bluetube section of the airport when he saw the Virgin Atlantic carrier and thought it would be ‘cool’ to ‘go into the belly of the aircraft, smoke a cig and drink to beer’.
It was only when a member of staff removed the steps from the plane without knowing he was there, that he worried about it departing and jumped out of the cargo hold – shortly after he was spotted and challenged.
Rudzki, of Manchester, admitted entering a restricted area of an airport without permission, was fined £100 and made the subject of a restraining order, banning him from going back to the airport for two years, unless he had a valid ticket for travel.
Tina Cunnane, prosecuting, told the court that on December 11 last year, at around 2.15pm, security staff saw Rudzki in the unauthorized area, they knew he wasn’t an employee as he was not wearing high-vis clothing and did not have an airfield pass.
“I smelled strongly of intoxicants. He said he was a new employee, this was not believed and he was provided transport to take him back to security,” she said.
“The police were called and the defendant was spoken to. He confirmed he had climbed over three fences near the Radisson Blu Hotel, entered an aircraft whilst in the airfield and went into the luggage hold in order to smoke a cigarette.
“When he was charged he said he admitted it, and he said he was sleeping rough at Manchester Airport for the last five weeks.
“He said that he was walking along the Bluetube when he saw the Virgin Atlantic plane and admitted he thought it would be cool to go into the belly of the aircraft, smoke a cig and drink a beer.”
Rudzki then bought a can of beer from the Spar in the airport before making his way to the airfield, the court heard.
He then ‘explored the area’ before going to the cargo hold.
In his police interview, he told officers he admitted the offense and had no malicious intent.
Rudzki was said to have no previous convictions.
Speaking from the dock, he told Manchester JPs that he was homeless at the time and his mental health was ‘in a bad state’.
“I came to Manchester, I was sleeping rough at Manchester Airport,” he said.
“It was just out of curiosity, I wanted to see the plane.
“There was no intention to damage it, or hurt anyone, it was just curiosity.
“I’m sorry. I was really peaceful, I told them [the police] I was having a bad day.
“I’ve made real improvements, I started learning Italian and I’m possibly doing a Masters degree next year.”
Rudzki, of Wilmslow Road, was handed a £100 fine, £85 court costs and £34 victim surcharge.
He was also ordered not to go to the airport for two years unless he had a valid ticket for travel, under the terms of a restraining order.
As he was sentenced, Rudzki replied: “That’s more than reasonable.”
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George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.