A lawyer from the United Kingdom who was sentenced to six months in prison for racist comments against Air India cabin crew members was found dead in East Sussex in England, The Telegraph reported on Thursday. She is believed to have killed herself.
Simone Burns had spat and made racist comments at Air India cabin crew members after she was denied alcohol on a Mumbai-London flight on November 11, 2018. She had also hurled abuses at a crew member and smoked a cigarette in the toilet. Burns was arrested upon landing in London and convicted in March.
Burns was released from Bronzefield women’s prison on licence on May 20 and found dead at the foot of cliffs in Beachy Head, East Sussex on June 1. “The body of a woman found at Beachy Head on June 1 has been identified as Simone Burns from Hove,” a spokesperson for Sussex Police said, according to Daily Mail. “The death is not being treated as suspicious and the next of kin have been informed. The matter has been passed to the coroner’s officer.”
A friend said Burns’ “world fell apart” after she was convicted and she became a target for internet trolls after a four-minute video clip of the incident went viral on social media.
Burns was given six months in jail for being drunk on an aircraft and two months for assault, to be served concurrently. While pronouncing the sentence in the Isleworth Crown Court, Judge Nicholas Wood reportedly had observed, “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.”