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Spitting lawyer gets six months jail for in-flight rant

April 8, 2019 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Despite having done good work throughout her life, an international lawyer has been jailed for six months for delivering a disgraceful racist tirade on an Air India flight, while spitting, swearing and demanding more wine.

Simone Burns, 50, was sentenced to six months in prison for being drunk on an aircraft and two months for assault after spitting into a crew member’s face, an act Judge Nicholas Wood, in London’s Isleworth crown court, described as “a particularly insulting and upsetting act”.

Burns’ sentences are to be served concurrently, the Guardian reported.

Judge Wood told Burns that “the experience of a drunk and irrational person” on a long-haul flight was frightening and posed a potential risk to safety.

The judge also observed that “such offences are often committed by people of impeccable character”.

The commendably cool demeanour of cabin crew when subjected to Burns’ expletive-laden ranting during the flight from Mumbai to London Heathrow drew praise from observers around the world.

Footage online shows Burns cursing crewmembers, swearing profusely and calling a staff member an “Indian f**king money-grubbing bastard” and the crew “Indian money-grubbing c***s.”

“You won’t give me a glass of f***ing wine?

“I am a f**king international lawyer. I work for all of you f**king people… the f**king people of Asia,” she can be heard shouting at cabin crew.

Footage of the incident is online with the foul language beeped out.

It’s also online elsewhere with the expletives intact.

Burns, who is Irish and has worked globally with refugees, was otherwise a woman of “positive and impeccable character – a righter of wrongs”, the judge acknowledged.

The court heard Burns was served with three 25cl bottles of red wine an hour into the nine-hour flight, had gone to the galley, demanded more drinks and spat into the crewmember’s face.

The judge said Burns had been “drunk and obnoxious almost from the beginning to the end”, had been abusive, contemptuous and confrontational and used “appalling language”. He said publicity and social media comment surrounding the case had led to Burns receiving death threats and becoming a hermit in her home.

A crew member on the flight said he had never experienced such behaviour in his 30-year career as a flight purser.

Written by Peter Needham

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