Simone Burns will serve six months behind bars for her behavior on an Air India flight last November
Belfast native Simone Burns has been sentenced to six months in jail following a drunken, racist rant on an Air India flight last November.
During the 9-hour Air India flight from Mumbai to London’s Heathrow Airport, Burns, who sometimes goes by Simone O’Broin, was filmed harassing the flight crew for more alcohol after they cut her off.
Flight passenger Tarun Shukla shared his videos of the incidents on Twitter:
Even the other passengers are embarrassed. So shameful pic.twitter.com/IttfjDwBiM— Tarun Shukla (@shukla_tarun) November 13, 2018
During her tirade, 50-year-old Burns, who works as an international refugee lawyer, can be heard saying “I’m a f****** international lawyer" when demanding more alcohol.
She also called the flight crew "Indian money-grabbing c****."
During her hearing at Isleworth Crown Court, the court heard that following the incident, a flight crew member said: “In the 34 years I have worked for Air India, this is the first time I have been treated like this by a woman. I felt abused."
In court, Mark Kimsey, defending Burns, said her actions were a result of a "mixture of altitude, the consumption of drink, and anxiety" and that Burn was "totally ashamed of her behavior.”
He added: "This is not a lady who has a drink problem. This is not a woman who has a drug problem. This is totally out of character."
Judge Nicholas Wood in court said: "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 added that"spitting straight into a crew member's face at close range is a particularly insulting and upsetting act.”
Speaking to Burns, Judge Wood said: "You are a woman, not just of good character but a positive and impeccable character - a righter of wrongs. What this has done, thanks to social media, (has meant) you have had death threats and been a hermit in your home.”
"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, who pleaded guilty to her actions, was sentenced to two months for assault and six months for being drunk on a plane, which will be served concurrently as a six-month sentence.
Watch more of Burns's outburst here: