In a recent development, a UK court has just sentenced an Irish human rights lawyer to six months of rigorous imprisonment. Simone Burns, who is a lawyer practicing in the field of international human rights, has been sentenced to the said term of imprisonment by the Isleworth Crown Court in UK.
But what was her offence? In November 2018, in an international Air India flight from Mumbai to London, Simone Burns got drunk and in that state of inebriation, she misbehaved with the Air India crew. She drank three bottles of wine mid-flight and went on a racist tirade when she was refused the fourth bottle for being too drunk.
The scene didn’t end there, she also she spat at a crew member and thus being charged with a range of offences. Judge Nicholas Wood, while pronouncing the sentence, mentioned, “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 further added, “Such offences are often committed by people of impeccable character. Although the aircraft was not at risk by Burns’ behaviour, for the luckless and unfortunate passengers and crew there is no escape at 30,000 feet. Spitting straight into a crew member’s face at close range is a particularly insulting and upsetting act.” The court also ordered that Simone should pay a compensation of 300 pounds to the person she assaulted.
This is not the first time a European individual has been found guilty of misbehaving with Indians. The entire episode of racism aside, there have been endless examples of hate against the Indian community abroad. Systematic hate campaigns against Indians in UK and Australia, or European Youtuber PewDiePie’s rants against Indians, Indians have been subjected to such filthy acts of racism.
As such, the hateful racist slur spree by Simone Burns, though atrocious, was not entirely unexpected. It is however, good to know that the English court didn’t entertain any of her excuses and served justice in the right measure.