Pair fined after high jinks on Parma-Malta flight

The two men were in high spirits on their flight when an argument broke out and one of the men slapped the other, leading to the discovery of a small amount of cannabis

Two Italian men have appeared in court in connection with a disturbance on an incoming passenger flight from Parma last night, which had also led to the discovery of a small amount of cannabis. 

29-year-old Gianpiero Zanzarelli and Jacobo Paolazzi, 31, were arraigned before Magistrate Lara Lanfranco by police inspector Roxanne Tabone on Monday afternoon.

Paolazzi, a supermarket worker from Milan, pleaded guilty to a solitary charge of endangering an aircraft. 

Zanzarelli, a baker, also pleaded guilty to that charge, together with a charge of importing cannabis resin for his own use, in breach of the Dangerous Drugs Act.  

Inspector Tabone told the court that during their flight to Malta, the two had been in high spirits and were engaging in horseplay. The two had been sitting next to each other and an argument broke out, and one of the men slapped the other. The crew asked them to settle down but were ignored by the men. The captain had informed Maltese authorities of the incident, telling the police that the accused men’s behaviour posed a risk to the aircraft’s safety. 

After their arrest, a search of Zanzarelli’s bag returned the 1.41g of cannabis resin. He told the police that it belonged to him and that he used it to help him sleep. The inspector dictated a note, telling the court that the cannabis was not intended to be sold.

In his submissions on punishment, lawyer Daniel Attard highlighted the early guilty plea and the accused’s cooperation with the police investigation.

Paolazzi was condemned to pay a €200 fine. Zanzarelli was fined €600.