A New Zealand man has been convicted of racially aggravated abuse when he demanded to be served by a “white girl” on a British Airways flight.
Peter Nelson, a 46-year-old former IT consultant for GlaxoSmithKline pharmaceutical company in the United Kingdom, was slapped with a huge fine for his tirade of abuse against an Asian stewardess on a British Airways flight last year, according to NZ Herald
The father-of-three received a fine of $3,823 New Zealand dollars ($2,456). In addition to the fine, Nelson also has to pay 955 New Zealand dollars ($613) to the victim as compensation and 6,690 New Zealand dollars ($4,300) to cover the cost of the prosecution.
The jury of the case gave a unanimous guilty verdict to one count of racially aggravated abuse at the Isleworth Crown Court on Friday.
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Nelson launched his tirade of abuse after being woken up by flight attendant Sima Patel-Pryke during an 11-hour flight from London’s Heathrow Airport to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on June 2, 2018.
“You Asians think you are better than us, I don’t want to be served by you lot, I’ve paid your wages for the last 20 years,” the man allegedly said.
Nelson’s tirade reduced the stewardess to tears when the man “shouted very loudly” at her and another cabin crew. The cabin crew prepared a restraining kit to be used on him and the man was also threatened with arrest.
“Nelson subsequently demanded services in the future only from the white member of the crew,” prosecutor Michael Tanney said.
“You plainly displayed a contemptuous attitude towards the staff from the outset, when Pryke, simply doing her job, came to wake you in order to take your food order,” judge Edward Connell said. “You took immediate offense at her having the audacity in your view to wake you up.”
“It seems that that was the beginnings of what turned out to be on your part an opportunity for you to get very upset without any justification at all. That manifested itself in the most unpleasant of ways,” the judge added.
“It was thoroughly unpleasant period of conduct by you; such was your conduct that members of staff were called to deal with you and they had cause to contact the pilot.
“It’s quite plain, albeit this wasn’t the most serious case the court hears, that it had an impact on Pryke who we heard in evidence was upset and ended up in tears because of your behavior.
“It was completely unacceptable and I’m entirely satisfied that it was contributed by that you had drunk a significant amount of alcohol during the course of that flight. I accept this conviction will have profound ramifications for you and your employability so I’m just persuaded that this can be dealt with a financial penalty.”
Nelson, who earns 2,900 New Zealand dollars ($1,864) weekly and has a 2.2 million New Zealand dollars (1.4 million) home in Ascot, Berks, has reportedly lost his job
. The man and his wife also spoke about moving their family back to New Zealand.