A piece in today’s Times:
A human rights lawyer was arrested after hurling a stream of obscenities at Air India cabin crew who refused to give her alcohol on a business-class flight between Mumbai and London.
Simone O’Broin, 50, was filmed using a string of four-letter words when staff would not let her have more wine. She is heard calling one female crew member an “Indian f***ing money-grabbing bastard” and insisting that she would fight the airline in the courts.
The video, recorded during the flight from Mumbai to Heathrow on Saturday, shows the woman shouting: “I’m a f***ing international criminal lawyer and a barrister.” [J4MB: She certainly has a way with words, as you’d expect of a barrister.] She can be seen waving her arms about and turns her anger on her fellow business class passengers, attacking them for not “standing up against injustice”.
Ms O’Broin, who is barefoot, shouts “I work for all you people” before referring to the Rohingya Muslim refugee crisis in Burma. She then threatens to lead a boycott of Air India, adding: “Do you understand me? You can’t give me a wee bottle of wine?”
She then says: “Give me a bottle of wine and game over.”
Ms O’Broin was born in Belfast and trained as a lawyer, studying international law and working for years in Palestine. She was understood to be on her way home from a two-month break in Goa when she was filmed. It is understood that Ms O’Broin, who is also known as Simone Burns and lives in Hove, had not slept for two nights following problems with Air India flights. When approached by the Daily Mail, she replied: “No comment.”
The Metropolitan Police confirmed that she was arrested when the plane landed at Heathrow. She was held on suspicion of racially aggravated public order, common assault and being drunk and disorderly before being released under investigation.
There has been a rise in the number of alcohol-related problems on flights to and from Britain. According to a recent Home Office report, 422 serious cases of disruptive passenger behaviour were reported by airlines last year, the joint-highest number on record. The number has doubled since 2014.
The document said that the overall number of disruptive passengers was likely to be “much higher” because at present only the most serious incidents were logged under EU reporting rules. It said that alcohol was “by far the single largest factor in disruptive passenger incidents” from British airports.
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