Lawyer convicted of assault after racist rant on Air India flight

Lawyer Simone Burns launched a racist tirade at the crew on an Air India flight in November (photo from file).

(CNN)A lawyer who subjected aircraft crew to "prolonged" racist abuse on a November flight from Mumbai to London was convicted of assault Wednesday.

Uxbridge Magistrates' Court heard that Simone Burns, who goes by Simone O'Broin, also spat at a crew member and grabbed her by the arm after staff refused to serve her more alcohol, the UK's Press Association news agency reported
Burns, from Hove, England, began her racist rant on the Air India flight when flight attendants declined to sell her a fourth bottle of wine. Prosecutor Lauren Smith told Uxbridge Magistrates' Court that Burns, who is 50, began "swearing and shouting," calling the flight crew "f***ing Indian money-grabbing c***s."
    When a cabin supervisor attempted to intervene, Burns spat in her face, swore at her, and "grabbed her by her right upper arm and squeezed it," Smith said.
    Burns ignored a written warning from the flight's captain and was also caught smoking in the plane bathroom.
    Smith told the court that Burns shouted, "I have done so much for you f***ing Indians and f***ing Pakistanis -- you should be grateful to me."
    Robert Della-Sala, chairing the bench, said: "The level of racist abuse was prolonged and unwarranted -- there's no excuse for that."
    "The spitting in the face must have been one of the most awful things that can happen to anybody, given the transmission of diseases," Della-Sala continued.
    A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police confirmed to CNN that Burns was arrested after the plane landed at Heathrow Airport on November 10.
    In February, she was charged with "behaving in a threatening, abusive, insulting or disorderly manner toward a member of aircraft crew" as well as assaulting the aircraft crew and being drunk on an aircraft.
      In court, Burns pleaded guilty to assault by beating and being drunk on an aircraft. Magistrates deemed her offenses too significant for them to sentence, passing her case to Isleworth Crown Court, where she will be sentenced on April 4.
      CNN has contacted Burns' lawyer for comment.