Construction company director spared jail after sexual assault of airline attendant

Construction Company Director Spared Jail After Sexual Assault Of Airline Attendant
On Tuesday, gardaí removed Arturs Nagornijs (41) from a plane just after it landed at Dublin Airport. Photo: Collins Courts
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Tom Tuite

A construction company director who sexually assaulted a cabin crew member on a flight to Dublin has been spared jail after paying €2,500 compensation to his victim.

On Tuesday, gardaí removed Arturs Nagornijs (41) from a plane just after it landed at Dublin Airport.


The Latvian businessman, who has no address in Ireland, was arrested and charged with sexual assault, intoxication, and behaviour likely to cause offence or annoyance.

He was held in custody and pleaded guilty when he appeared before Judge Treasa Kelly at Dublin District Court on Wednesday.

The court heard he put his hand up an 18-year-old flight attendant's skirt after causing trouble during the flight.

He was granted bail but had his passport seized. Judge Kelly had ordered him to bring €2,500 for his 18-year-old victim.


'Horrendous incident'

He came back to court on Friday and handed over the money to investigating Garda Jennifer Lynch, who said the victim was willing to accept the compensation.

Judge Kelly had described it as a despicable and horrendous incident, and she noted the young woman started in the job just six weeks ago.

Finalising the case, she took into account his early guilty plea at the first available opportunity; that he complied with bail terms, paid compensation and apologised through his solicitor.

Defence solicitor Eoin Lysaght asked the court to leave his client with a clean record, but the judge refused and recorded a criminal conviction. However, she made no further order and did not impose any other penalty.


The court heard Nagornijs was travelling from Nice, France, to Riga, in Latvia via Stansted and Dublin.

Garda Lynch said the victim was a young woman who had recently started in the job.

The cabin crew repeatedly interacted with Nagornijs over his drunken behaviour during the flight from Stansted.

Acting 'erratically'

Flight attendants noticed him acting "erratically" and "lying across an elderly woman's lap".


The crew told him to desist, and when they went away, he began lying on and annoying the older woman again.

He was asked to sit up and put his belt on and complied, but "as soon as they went away, he did it again".

He locked himself in the toilet as other passengers disembarked. Then, he came out and sat on the back row, where he urinated on himself and seats.

The crew asked him to leave, but after he had difficulties understanding, they asked him to use the Google Translate app in Latvian.


The young flight attendant felt his hand go up her skirt between her thighs, and he sexually assaulted her.

Garda Lynch said the woman jumped in shock and was distressed as she ran to the captain, shouting, "I can't do this". Air traffic control was alerted, and gardaí removed him from the aircraft.

The court heard the victim was distressed afterwards.

Nagornijs, who listened to the proceedings with the help of a translator, had no prior convictions in Ireland or any ties here. However, the court heard he had €150,000 at his disposal, and his work involved travelling to secure contracts.

His solicitor said his client was drunk at the time and had no recollection of the incident.

Nagornijs ran a building company operating in Nice in France and Riga.

If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, you can call the national 24-hour Rape Crisis Helpline at 1800 77 8888, access text service and webchat options at, or visit Rape Crisis Help.

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