Scenes from the beach where in the celebration of Nossa Senhora da Praia
Scenes from the beach where in the celebration of Nossa Senhora da Praia

Judge drops criminal charges after ‘super football kicker’ breaks down in court

Process now ‘an inquiry’, to be coordinated by Public Ministry

Anyone who felt for the young man arrested after his footballing skills saw him reach the wing of a low-flying plane may be delighted to know he is not having ‘the book thrown at him’.

What appears to have been a feat that should go down in the Guinness Book of Records instead saw the ‘super kicker’ spend a night in police cells.

He was then presented before a magistrate whereupon he burst into tears.

No news source has been more revealing. Suffice it to say the judge appreciated the fact that the defendant was extremely sorry for his actions, and has reduced the criminal charges of “an attack on aeronautic transport”, to an inquiry, to be carried out by the Public Ministry.

The incident, on Praia das Maças, in the borough of Sintra, on Sunday, certainly did not look like an attack; nor did it cause any damage. The plane touched by the ball did not even appear to ‘wobble’ slightly in videos placed online – but the crowds on the beach apparently ‘denounced’ the young man as they were there for religious reasons (the plane was taking part in a tradition of dropping flower petals), and clearly took them very seriously.

Jornal de Notícias says: “the court pondered the aplication of preventive custody, bearing in mind the serious consequences that could have occurred had the pilot not been able to control the plane, or had the ball hit the engine, or propeller. The defendant’s repentance and explanation that it had only been a bit of fun, as well as absence of criminal antecedants, were paramount for the court to release him”.

natasha.donn@portugalresident.com