A lawyer who spat at a flight attendant during a racist foul-mouthed tirade after she was refused alcohol on a nine-hour business class flight has been jailed for six months.
Judge Nicholas Wood, sentencing at Isleworth Crown Court, told Simone Burns: “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.”
The judge noted that “such offences are often committed by people of impeccable character.
Although the aircraft was not at risk by Burns’s behaviour, the judge said “for the luckless and unfortunate passengers and crew there is no escape at 30,000ft”.
He added that “spitting straight into a crew member’s face at close range is a particularly insulting and upsetting act”.
Burns, of First Avenue, Hove, sat quietly in the dock as she was sentenced to six months for being drunk on an aircraft and two months for assault.
The sentences are to be served concurrently after she previously pleaded guilty to the charges.
Burns, 50, who is known as Simone O’Broin, was initially served three bottles of red wine but declared “I’m a f****** international lawyer” when she was denied more on an Air India flight from Mumbai to London on November 11 2018.
She also called staff “Indian money-grabbing c****” and smoked a cigarette in the toilets during the tirade which was condemned by a member of the cabin staff as unlike anything he had seen during his 30-year aviation career.
The lawyer, who is Irish and has worked with refugees around the world, unleashed a barrage of abuse in a prolonged rant which also saw her spit and grab the arm of the steward, the court heard.