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Last Updated: Monday, 21 November 2005, 11:10 GMT
Smoker tried to open plane door
Generic image of a woman lighting a cigarette
The woman was arrested when the plane landed in Australia
A French woman has admitted attempting to open an aeroplane door mid-flight so that she could smoke a cigarette.

Sandrine Helene Sellies, 34, who has a fear of flying, had drunk alcohol and taken sleeping tablets ahead of the flight from Hong Kong to Brisbane.

She was seen on the Cathay Pacific plane walking towards a door with an unlit cigarette and a lighter.

She then began tampering with the emergency exit until she was stopped by a flight attendant.

Defence lawyer Helen Shilton said her client had no memory of what had happened on the flight on Saturday, and that she had a history of sleepwalking.

She pleaded guilty to endangering the safety of an aircraft at Brisbane Magistrates Court and was given a 12-month A$1,000 (429) good behaviour bond - she will forfeit the money if she commits another offence.

The French tourist was at the start of a three-week holiday in Australia with her husband.


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