Lawyer jailed for spitting at cabin crew who refused her more alcohol found dead
A lawyer who was jailed for spitting at cabin crew who refused to serve her a fourth bottle of wine has been found dead.
Simone Burns, 50, was sentenced to six months in April after launching into a racist tirade against Air India staff on a flight from Mumbai last year.
After being released from Bronzefield women's prison on May 20, the human rights lawyer was found dead at the foot of Beachy Head cliffs in East Sussex 13 days later.
A friend reportedly said her "world fell apart" after the conviction and said she had become a target for "trolls" after the clip of her onboard tirade went viral on social media.
During the mid-air incident, Burns called staff "Indian money-grabbing c****" and smoked a cigarette in the toilets during the tirade which left other passengers "shocked".
Burns, of Hove, also declared "I'm a f****** international lawyer" when she was denied more alcohol on the Air India flight AI131.
She pleaded guilty to being drunk on an aircraft and assault by beating at Uxbridge Magistrates' Court in March.
Speaking in court at the hearing, Prosecuting, Lauren Smith said the nine-hour flight took off at 4.10am as Burns sat in business class with 17 other passengers.
She was given three bottles of wine with breakfast "immediately after takeoff" but began to complain when she was refused more.
Miss Smith said: "She got up from her seat and began swearing and shouting. She was shouting that she was a 'f****** international lawyer' and telling them to 'f*** off'."
She also shouted: "You f****** arses, you f******* Indian money-grabbing c*****"
Burns then went into the toilet to try to light a cigarette before she was given a verbal warning three hours into the flight, the court heard.
Miss Smith said: "Her behaviour continued. She was then given a written warning by the captain. This also made no difference to Miss Burns' behaviour."
I was said her actions were out of character due to a "mixture of altitude, the consumption of drink and anxiety" at the fact that she was likely to miss the funeral of an uncle.
A spokeswoman for Sussex Police said: "The body of a woman found at Beachy Head on June 1 has been identified as Simone Burns from Hove.
"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."
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