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Last Updated: Wednesday, 6 October, 2004, 12:53 GMT 13:53 UK
Flyer fined for Dambusters song
Martin Lafferty
Lafferty was told he was 'very lucky' to escape a prison sentence
A rugby player has been fined more than 1,000 after his stag party friends sang The Dambusters theme while on board a plane with German passengers.

Martin Lafferty was preparing to fly to Cologne from Liverpool John Lennon Airport with 18 other players when the incident occurred on 6 August.

The 27-year-old from Stretford admitted being drunk on the plane and within the airport precinct at an earlier hearing.

Liverpool magistrates heard Lafferty was "guilty by association".

My client has found the whole experience deeply embarrassing - he is ashamed of himself and he has certainly learnt his lesson
Richard Silver, defending

Richard Silver defending told the court that Lafferty's arrest followed an incident on the aircraft in which members of the stag party were "singing the theme from Dambusters when there were Germans on board the plane".

The stag party, who apparently smelt of alcohol, were then thrown off the Easyjet flight.

Mr Silver claimed his client was not involved in the incident.

"My client has found the whole experience deeply embarrassing, he is ashamed of himself and he has certainly learnt his lesson," he said.

Lafferty, a self-employed landscape gardener, had drunk a moderate amount but was arrested and charged after swearing at a police officer who was attempting to remove him from the plane, the court was told.

District judge Richard Clancy told Lafferty he was "very lucky" to have escaped a custodial sentence.

Escaped jail

He said: "You had to be removed from an aircraft and you must accept that is not a normal thing to happen.

"You should realise that what you were charged with could have resulted in you going to prison."

Mr Lafferty was fined 1,100 and ordered to pay 65 costs.

The Dambusters are remembered for their attacks on German dams during World War II as part of the Allied bombing campaign.

A film chronicling their adventure was made in 1954. The theme song has since been adopted by football fans and is now deemed to be anti-German.

Drunken rugby player admits abuse
07 Sep 04  |  Merseyside
Rugby players thrown off flight
07 Aug 04  |  Merseyside

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