Hove lawyer jailed for racist abuse of airline staff found dead at Beachy Head

Posted On 04 Jul 2019 at 9:52 am

A Hove lawyer who was jailed for spitting and hurling racist abuse at a flight attendant who refused to serve her wine has been found dead at the bottom of Beachy Head.

Simone Burns, 50, was jailed in April for six months after pleading guilty to being drunk on an aircraft and assault by beating.

She was released on licence in May but less than two weeks later was found dead at the foot of the cliffs.

A Sussex Police spokesman said: “The body of a woman found at Beachy Head on June 1 has been identified as 50-year-old Simone Burns from Hove.

“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.”

Ms Burns’ tirade, which came after she was refused a fourth bottle of wine, was filmed by another passenger, who posted it on Twitter.

She  called staff on board the Air India flight “Indian money-grabbing c****”, described herself as an international criminal lawyer for the Palestinian people and shouted: “I have done so much for you f****** Indians and f****** Pakistanis. You should be grateful to me.”

  1. Gordon Reply

    This story appears to be in contravention of the IPSO guidelines on the reporting of suicide, namely points 3 and 6:

    3: Journalists should be prepared to justify the inclusion of any detail of the method of suicide in any report.

    6: Journalists should show sensitivity towards people in a state of grief or shock. Reporting should be handled sensitively and appropriate consideration should be given to the wishes and needs of the bereaved.

    By mentioning the method and including the racist rant and video in the story, this hardly seems to be the most sensitive way to cover the story. I am well aware that other publications have also broken this guideline, and this is not intended to single out BrightonAndHoveNews in particular.

    • M Reply

      Very sad news for her family. God bless

  2. Martin Reply

    It’s not a breach. Detail of the method would be such things as the type of ligature in a knot or the type and quantity of tablets. Not the location.
    More info here https://www.samaritans.org/about-samaritans/media-guidelines/best-practice-suicide-reporting-tips/

  3. V Putin Reply

    Ha ha ha I was so right about liberalism being dead with its silly ideas like free speech and freedom of expression. Even funnier is the way it’s been replaced by the tyranny of the easily offended. Who are these people?

  4. C Walden Reply

    It’s up to a Coroner to say it’s suicide or some other cause of death, Gordon, although I grant you, the Police are not treating the death as suspicious. It could, though, be accidental, or some sort of misadventure. Or is there something you know, Gordon, and are trying to hide?
    No detail of ‘the method of suicide’ is given, although given the resonance of the place name, Beachy Head, many will assume, like you, Gordon, before the facts have been properly established.
    The location and whether someone jumped or drove their car over a cliff edge, for instance, should not be censored and should be reported. There may be lessons to learn, and if the public understand the factors and the issues involved, they are in a better position to apply the appropriate pressure for any changes in public policy, the layout of the site, the level of patrolling, etc.
    Given how recently the Simone Burns case was covered, I find it hard to sympathize with your suggestion this is somehow insensitive. To be honest, if anyone was insensitive, it was the unfortunate lady who has lost her life. Her outburst was sensational. Nothing I read then or now has come close to being quite so sensational.
    We can recall someone’s notoriety, read about their death and yet still have sympathy for the individual. It’s almost offensive, Gordon, for you to imply otherwise. Not everyone is like you.

  5. roy pennington Reply

    RIP : Gordon is correct : do the details when reporting at the inquest.

  6. bradly Reply

    in the same report in the Argus many comments have been deleted after complaints it was inappropriate ….

  7. Gilbert Bligh Reply

    This poor woman has suffered trial and punishment by social media for a trivial act of defiance and being upset at being refused service of further alcohol – the video taker and airline/staff are accountable for this outcome – RIP to her and sincere condolences to her family and friends

  8. Pensive Maria Reply

    Like a dreamer I was born to walk alone…

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