French Tourist Admits She Tried to Open Airliner Door to Smoke While Drunk

Sadrine Helene Sellies, 34, was placed on a good behavior bond after pleading guilty in Brisbane Magistrates Court to endangering the safety of an aircraft.


A French woman who is terrified of flying admitted in an Australian court Monday that she drunkenly tried to open an airplane door mid-flight to smoke a cigarette.

Sadrine Helene Sellies, 34, was placed on a good behavior bond after pleading guilty in Brisbane Magistrates Court to endangering the safety of an aircraft.

Sellies was traveling on a Cathay Pacific flight from Hong Kong to the east coast city of Brisbane on Saturday when the incident occurred at the start of a three-week Australian vacation with her husband, the court heard.

She walked toward one of the aircraft's emergency exits with an unlit cigarette and a lighter in her hand and began tampering with the door, prosecutors said. But a flight attendant intervened and took Sellies back to her seat.

Sellies was arrested and charged by police on arrival at Brisbane airport.

Defense lawyer Helen Shilton told the court Sellies was terrified of flying and had taken sleeping tablets with alcohol before takeoff.

Shilton said Sellies has no memory of what happened on the flight and that she has a history of sleepwalking.

But Magistrate Gordon Dean sternly warned the woman: "You must understand, if you are on a plane you must behave yourself."

Sellies, who did not speak in court and was aided by a translator, was placed on a 1,000 Australian dollar (US$734; euro623) bond - meaning she will have to pay that amount if she commits another offense in the next 12 months.


Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

News stories provided by third parties are not edited by "Site Publication" staff. For suggestions and comments, please click the Contact link at the bottom of this page.

We Recommend

  • Press Release

    Woman Admits to Assault on Boston-SFO Flight

    Woman accused of making hijacking statements, spitting at flight attendants and passengers and trying to open a cabin door pleaded guilty in federal court.

  • News

    Woman Admits to Assault on Boston-SFO flight

    Lambert was originally charged in January with interference with flight crew members, a felony that could have sent her to prison for a maximum of 20 years. But in February, prosecutors amended the...

  • News

    Man Charged in Incident on Southwest Plane

    A 43-year-old Brecksville man is out on bond after being arrested this week on a charge of sexually accosting a woman during a Sunday night flight from Las Vegas to Cleveland.

  • News

    California socialite arrested with pot at airport

    -- Jun. 16--Still wearing dark false eyelashes after a night in the Franklin County jail, a Beverly Hills, Calif., woman accused of bringing 23 bales of marijuana to Columbus faced...