AN IRISH lawyer who was filmed spitting and directing racist abuse towards an Air India flight attendant after being refused alcohol has been jailed for six months.
50-year-old Simone Burns from Belfast was sentenced to six months in prison for being drunk on an aircraft and further two months for assault.
Burns pleaded guilty to both charges and will serve out her sentences concurrently.
She was filmed directing an expletive laden tirade against staff after they refused to serve her more wine on a flight from India to London on November 11th, 2018.
Burns, who also uses the surname O’Broin, had already been served three 25cl bottles of red wine within the first hour of the flight.
In a video shared online, Burns can be heard to declaring “I’m a f***ing international lawyer” before lashing out at flight staff, calling them “Indian money-grabbing c***s”.
“I’ve done so much for you f***ing Indians and f***ing Pakistanis, you should be grateful to me” she is later heard to say.
Burns also smoked cigarettes in the plane’s onboard toilet facilities.
Later in the flight, a cabin supervisor attempted to intervene but was told to “f*** off” and assaulted by Burns.
Arrested upon arrival in London, Burns was charged with assault.
The court heard how Burns complained her TV was not positioned properly, spat in a crew member’s face and grabbed the arm of another flight staff worker.
Speaking during sentencing at Isleworth Crown Court [via the Press Association], Judge Nicholas Wood branded Simone Burns’ actions “insulting and upsetting act” adding that the 50-year-old was “drunk and obnoxious from the beginning to the end.”
"The experience of a drunk and irrational person in the confines of an aircraft is frightening, not least on a long-haul flight and poses a potential risk to safety,” he said.
"For the luckless and unfortunate passengers and crew, there is no escape at 30,000ft,” he added.
"Spitting straight into a crew member's face at close range is a particularly insulting and upsetting act".
Wood was also satisfied the assault was “racially aggravated”.
"The fact remains that you were drunk and obnoxious almost from the beginning to the end. You were abusive, contemptuous and confrontational and used appalling language."
Burns was also ordered to pay £300 compensation to the flight attendant involved in the incident.