[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Friday, 18 March, 2005, 16:09 GMT
Lawyer found guilty of bomb scare
Raj Jandoo
Dr Jandoo had denied the charges against him
A senior lawyer has been fined 2,500 after being found guilty of endangering an aircraft on a flight to Lewis.

Dr Raj Jandoo was also convicted of frightening and alarming passengers by making bomb references during a journey from Edinburgh last March.

The 47-year-old, an advocate and part-time sheriff, had denied a series of charges at Stornoway Sheriff Court.

Sheriff Principal John McInnes said his actions were likely to have "long lasting consequences" for his career.

The incident took place while Jandoo was on his way to sit as a sheriff at Lochmaddy Sheriff Court in North Uist.

Loud conversation

Jandoo was convicted of endangering the aircraft by standing up and raking in overhead lockers.

He also failed to buckle up when asked to do so by cabin crew just before landing.

He was also convicted of breach of the peace for mentioning a bomb and being regarded as terrorist causing fear and alarm to passengers and crew.

A further charge alleging that Jandoo had endangered the aircraft by switching on and operating a laptop was found not proven.

And he was found not guilty of a charge alleging that he had failed to obey the commands of the pilot while on the flight by not switching off his laptop, failing to sit in his seat and searching an overhead locker.

During the trial, passenger Margaret Morrison claimed that she heard Jandoo say into his mobile phone: "These bloody repressed people up here, they are not used to seeing coloured people and they think I am a terrorist going to bomb their plane."

Trainee air traffic controller Roger Mackay said the lawyer was having a loud conversation on his mobile phone while the plane was picking up more passengers at Inverness Airport.

He told the court that Jandoo said everyone was looking at him as if he had a bomb on board.

He made a comment which was, with the benefit of hindsight, of course, not appropriate
Donald Findlay QC

Clinical psychologist Dr Kenneth Aitken said the lawyer's actions could have been linked to the death of his wife in a road accident in 1997.

"He clearly exhibits symptoms consistent with an abnormal bereavement reaction, consistent with the losses in short succession of both his father and his second wife," he told the trial.

In his closing speech, defence counsel Donald Findlay QC said his client had become affected by the situation in which he found himself.

People's reaction

"He made a comment which was, with the benefit of hindsight, of course, not appropriate," he said.

"It was not reckless, not negligent, it was maybe foolish, but no more than that."

He argued that the way people reacted was "disproportionate to the facts that confronted them".

Stornoway Airport
Stornoway Airport was the flight's destination

However, procurator fiscal David Teale argued that Jandoo had made the remarks with the intention of provoking a reaction.

"This was said to a background of heightened tension with security, terrorist activity and days after the Madrid bombings," he argued.

Sheriff Principal McInnes said he did not regard his conduct as trivial, describing it as "reckless and negligent".

Mr Findlay said it was a desperately unfortunate incident which had caused his client considerable personal embarrassment and distress.




SEE ALSO:
Flight lawyer seen as 'arrogant'
18 Feb 05 |  Scotland
Jandoo 'was refused flight drink'
17 Feb 05 |  Scotland
Bomb 'mentioned on board plane'
16 Feb 05 |  Scotland
Lawyer denies bomb scare charge
16 Mar 04 |  Scotland


RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific