An Irish lawyer who spat on an Air India flight attendant and went on a racist rant after being refused alcohol in a nine-hour business class flight has been jailed for six months, reported Press Association. Calling it an “insulting and upsetting act”, the judge noted Simone Burns was “drunk and obnoxious from the beginning to the end.”
Burns, 50, was sentenced to six months for being drunk on an aircraft and two months for assault. The sentences are to be served concurrently. She pleaded guilty to both.
In a Mumbai-London Air India flight in November last year, Burns, who has worked with refugees, went on an expletive-ridden racist rant against the flight crew after she was denied more wine in the nine-hour flight. “I am a f****** international lawyer,” she told the crew and spat at a flight attendant from close range.
In a video that had gone viral on social media, the woman can be heard saying, “I am working for all your people…for you, an international criminal lawyer. Don’t get any money for it, by the way. But you can’t give me a …glass of wine, is that correct?”
Judge Nicholas Wood also said he was satisfied that the assault was “racially aggravated”. During her tirade at the airline crew, Burns called the staff “Indian money-grabbing c****”.
“As a thumb rule, a passenger can be served 2-3 pegs of hard liquor and another 3-4 glasses of wine. Passengers in business class can get a little more. But this passenger already had four quarter bottles of wine and was insisting for more. When denied, she started shouting and abusing the crew members,” an airline source was quoted as saying by news agency PTI. Air India filed an FIR against the passenger and she was taken into custody on landing at London’s Heathrow airport