There’s an interesting article in the Irish Independent today entitled ‘Passenger who tried to headbutt captain during flight walks free.’ Businessman, Damian Kington, 35, was on an exclusive business class flight from New York to London when he seemingly went berserk. He abused 2 passengers and subsequently swore at the captain, pushed him and then tried to headbutt him. Mr Kington had to be restrained and the flight was diverted to Shannon.
Mr Kington said he had no recollection of the events due to the fact that he had consumed a Xanax and an Ambien tablet with alcohol. He apologised to all concerned, stating: “It is extremely out of character and I am very remorseful. I was on new medication and it was irresponsible of me not to check.”
Striking out the charge, Judge Durcan at Ennis District Court agreed and said “Mr Kington suffered a huge change in character by virtue of the unfortunate combination of drugs and alcohol.” He further stated “the Damian Kington that is reflected so well in the references and testimonials before me ceased to exist and that for a period on the aeroplane a different person was wearing his clothes and was occupying his skin and physical person”.
The strange thing is that this is exactly the combination of medication that Gerry Ryan was prescribed a few days before he died. Why does nobody except me think this is an important issue which was overlooked? If a Judge can see that this combination of drugs can alter a person’s thinking to such an extreme that ‘a different person was occupying his skin and physical person’; surely the same thing could have happened in Gerry Ryan’s case?
Excerpt from Melanie Verwoerd’s book: “My heart ached for him. I hated seeing Gerry like this. In bed he held me so tight I could barely breathe, and when he eventually relaxed a bit and fell asleep I carefully crawled from under his arms and out of bed. I quietly took his phone, left the room and called Dr Crosby, hoping that he would pick up if he saw Gerry’s number. He did. I explained that Gerry had been very unwell and told him how worried I was. He said that Gerry had spoken to him and that he felt it was stress, for which he would prescribe Xanex (a sedative) and Stilnoct (a light sleeping pill) for him. I asked him whether he thought he should see Gerry, but Dr Crosby said to call back if he got worse, or else to tell Gerry to phone him if he was worried. A few minutes later, he texted to say he had phoned the prescription through to boots in Donnybrook.”
In my opinion, the scramble to report on the ‘trace amount of cocaine’ found in Gerry Ryan’s body, meant that the ‘prescribed’ drugs were tragically overlooked. The Coroner found that Gerry died of an irregular heartbeat and repeatedly stated that he could not say for certain what caused it. Despite this, Gerry Ryan’s death is always attributed to ‘death by cocaine’. Why was Gerry’s prescribed drugs not investigated? I think Gerry got a raw deal and deserves to be remembered as the great man that he was, with the big heart and even bigger personality. Will there ever be Justice for Gerry?
Melanie Verwoerd, When We Dance, Page 297/298