Woman jailed for spitting on cabin crew after being refused alcohol found dead at foot of cliff days after release: 'Her world fell apart'
50-year-old Simone Burns was jailed for six months after her racist drunken tirade during a flight last year; she was found dead at the foot of Beachy Head cliffs in UK on June
A human rights lawyer has been found dead at Beachy Head just days after being released from prison for spitting at Indian cabin crew and yelling racist taunts at them after they refused to serve her a fourth bottle of wine in business class.
50-year-old Simone Burns, of Hove, was jailed for six months after her racist drunken tirade against Air India staff during a flight from Mumbai to Heathrow last year, Daily Mail reports.
The barrister called cabin crew "Indian money-grabbing c***s" before smoking a cigarette in the restroom and spitting on a cabin supervisor's face as "shocked" passengers aboard the Heathrow-bound plane watched on.
On June 1, the Belfast-born lawyer was found dead at the foot of Beachy Head in East Sussex—less than two weeks after her release from Bronzefield women's prison.
The body has been sent to the coroner and the police are not calling it a suspicious death.
After finding her body, the Sussex police informed her next of kin.
According to a friend, Burns' world "fell apart" after she was convicted and thrown behind bars. Furthermore, she became a target for trolls who would frequently mock her mid-flight drunken tirade.
"The body of a woman found at Beachy Head on June 1 has been identified as Simone Burns from Hove," a spokesman for Sussex Police said. "The death is not being treated as suspicious and next of kin have been informed. The matter has been passed to the coroner's officer."
The video from the air incident on November 10 showed Burns abusing the crew and threatening to "p*** on them" in court. She also spat at the crew and could be heard calling one of the female staff members an "Indian f***ing money-grabbing b*****d".
Irish lady behaves in such an abusive, racist way with @airindiain crew for being refused extra drinks. Very decent AI crew behaviour. Arrested on landing. Wonder if she should have been controlled onboard with handcuffs. @JitiBhargava @Mohan_Rngnathan pic.twitter.com/kSTDmGOEm5— Tarun Shukla (@shukla_tarun) November 13, 2018
The footage also showed the unhinged woman abusing a male crew member on the flight.
"I work for all you f***ing people... The f***ing Rohingyas, the f***ing people of all Asia, for you, I'm an international criminal lawyer," she was heard shouting. "Don't get any money for it by the way. But you won't give me a f***ing glass of wine, is that correct?"
Burns also claimed to be the "leader of the f***ing boycott movement" and could be seen clapping the air in front of the crewmember's face before adding: "If I say 'boycott' - f***ing Air India, done. Do you understand me? You can't give me a wee bottle of wine?"
The male crew member remained calm through the entire rant. Burns then turned her attention to a female crew member and asked if she wanted to write a report about her.
"F*** off! I'm a f***ing international criminal lawyer and a barrister. You will be p***ed on in court!" she said, before calling the flight steward an "Indian f***ing money-grabbing b*****d".
The woman then went back to her seat shouting she would "turn you inside f***ing out, you f***ing stupid c***s! Give me a bottle of wine and game over!"
The clip ended with the 50-year-old ranting at her fellow business class passengers for not "standing up against injustice."
Local journalist Tarun Shukla also shared the second part of the argument, taken in another video, of Burns claiming to be the lawyer "for the Palestinian people".
Even the other passengers are embarrassed. So shameful pic.twitter.com/IttfjDwBiM— Tarun Shukla (@shukla_tarun) November 13, 2018
"So, you think I'm scared when you threaten me with lawyers? Also, Irish Republican Army. You'll be f***ing shot," she was heard saying. "All you had to do was to give me a f***ing drink."
After touchdown in London, Burns was arrested by officers from the Metropolitan Police.
At the time, the barrister told authorities her actions had been out of character, saying they were driven by a "mixture of altitude, consumption of drink and anxiety."
Burns was called to the bar in 1992 before she went on to represent refugees in the Middle East as part of her human rights work.
At one point, she faced major backlash for having written a paper accusing Israel of committing genocide of Palestinians, whom she described as "a group struggling for self-determination against a colonial, racist regime."
She appeared paranoid on her Facebook.
"Mossad agents and Zionists operatives all over my life… there is yet again a fishy smell of CHABAD LUBAVITCH!" she told friends in one of her posts.
Burns was also criticized after she openly supported Gilad Atzmon, an author who was accused of antisemitism and racism for his controversial views on the Holocaust and Jewish history.
She was diagnosed with skin cancer 18 years ago and was forced to have a series of surgical procedures during treatment.
At her trial, she appeared with plaster over her nose while awaiting a prosthetic replacement.
—With additional inputs from Kunal Dey