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Chef admits to gun hoax in Dublin airport yesterday

The hoax occurred in Terminal 1 after Portuguese chef Adriano Rocha missed two flights home.

Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

A CHEF TRIGGERED a security alert in Dublin Airport at the weekend by claiming he was armed and going to shoot someone, a court has heard.

The gun hoax occurred at Gate 106 in Terminal 1 yesterday afternoon after Portuguese chef Adriano Rocha, aged 42, missed two flights home.

Dublin District Court heard that Rocha was drunk and emotional when he made gun gestures and Gardaí were called after other passengers overheard his comment.

He was charged with giving false alarm contrary to section 43 Air Navigation and Transport Act, and pleaded guilty today.

Judge Treasa Kelly granted bail and once he surrendered his travel documentation he was released. She ordered him to bring €300 to his sentence hearing tomorrow.

‘Extremely erratic’ behaviour

Rocha, with an address at Qudtiro Estradas Sitiro, Dos Alamos, Gui Albuffire, Portugal, had just finished up a stint working in the west of Ireland and was trying to get home, the court heard.

In evidence, Garda Paul Murphy said Rocha was waiting at the departure gate “when he became extremely erratic”.

“He was getting up and down on his seat, on two occasions he made gestures with his hands like a gun,” Garda Murphy said.

He was heard saying “I have a gun, I’m going to shoot someone” in the lounge at the departure gate.

The garda said although the accused did not shout it, “people in his vicinity became alarmed” and Gardaí were called.

They rushed to the scene and confirmed he had no weapon.

Tired and emotional

Rocha’s reply to charge after caution was: “I didn’t threaten anyone.”

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The chef, who had no prior criminal convictions, did not address the court.

Garda Murphy agreed with defence solicitor Michael Kelleher that Rocha had been seen drinking alcohol and had twice missed flights home. He intended to go to back to his mother.

He also had minor health difficulties and was “a bit tired and emotional”, the solicitor said. It had been a difficult period for him and he made it worse, Kelleher added.

It was accepted he was bewildered and acted erratically.

The solicitor asked the court to note his client had spent 24 hours in custody. He submitted that the issue was mental health and the garda had accepted alcohol was not the primary cause.

Adjourning the case, Judge Kelly said it was very serious for the people beside him in the departure lounge.

The offence can result in a fine of about €1,200 and a six-month sentence when dealt with at district court level.

About the author:

Tom Tuite

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