Inquest over “racist” human rights lawyer to be held in Eastbourne

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An inquest into the death of a human rights lawyer who was jailed after spitting and making racist comments to a flight attendant is to be held in Eastbourne tomorrow (Thursday).

Simone Burns, 50, from Hove, was sentenced to six months in prison in April for being drunk on an aircraft and assaulting a member of the Air India cabin crew. Her behaviour was condemned by the judge as “obnoxious” and “abusive”.

On her flight from Mumbai to London in November 2018, Ms Burns was reportedly denied a bottle of wine which led to her spitting at an attendant and began a tirade of abuse towards the crew.

The judge said when sentencing Ms Burns, “Spitting straight into a crew member’s face at close range is a particularly insulting and upsetting act.”

Ms Burns was reportedly free on licence at the time of her death and was found dead on June 1 at the bottom of Beachy Head cliffs.