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Canadian 'nuisance' finally leaves T&T after failed attempts

JACQUES HEROUX, the lovestruck Canadian national who caused an American Airlines flight to divert from its intended route and land at Piarco International Airport because he was being a nuisance aboard the aircraft, finally left Trinidad and Tobago yesterday when an airline agreed to take him to Panama.

Heroux was fined $8,000 on Monday afternoon, when he appeared before Arima magistrate Adrian Darmanie after he pleaded guilty to being a nuisance aboard the flight.

Through his attorney, Fareed Ali, Heroux, 48, told Darmanie, of the Arima Second Court, he had consumed eight mini bottles of Dewar's Scotch Whisky just after he boarded the flight in Miami, USA, last weekend.

The Airports Authority of Trinidad and Tobago, which laid the charge against Heroux, said the American Airlines flight had departed Miami International Airport and was en-route to Brazil, when Heroux began behaving in a disorderly manner.

Around 4.30 a.m. on Saturday, the flight's captain radioed the Piarco Air Control Tower about Heroux, who reportedly took off his seatbelt and was lying across three seats, as flight attendants pleaded with him to sit properly.

He did not, and when the jet finally landed at Piarco, Heroux was arrested and taken to the Arima Police Station, where he was charged.

In court, although admitting what he did was wrong, Heroux said when he boarded the plane in Miami, he was thinking only of his upcoming marriage to a Brazilian woman and was merely having a few drinks to celebrate.

On Tuesday, Heroux attempted to leave Trinidad and Tobago, but almost every flight he attempted to make arrangements with refused him.

With the help of his attorney and the Canadian High Commission, Heroux spent Monday and Tuesday night at a Trincity hotel and around 4.30 p.m. he boarded a COPA Airlines flight to Panama, following which he is expected to continue his journey to Brazil to meet his future wife.

—Gyasi Gonzales

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