28 September, 2023

Former boy band star escapes prison stay after a racially aggravated assault on British Airways cabin crew member.

The former top star of boy band Blue, Lee Ryan said "It was terrific I got away with it" after he was handed a 12-month suspended sentence for racially abusing a British Airways cabin crew member.  

The misogynistic Ryan, had previously been found guilty of the drunken attack on the cabin crew member during a BA flight from Glasgow to London City Airport on 31st July.  Other passengers had to intervene after he pounced on the stewardess grabbing both of her wrists and demanding kisses.  

Police footage showed Ryan "snarling" and swearing at officers after biting one of them. Another member of the cabin crew on the flight told how Ryan was slurring his words and staggering about shortly after the plane had departed, demanding an upgrade from economy to business class and 

Another member of the cabin crew said she had been approached by Ryan shortly after the plane departed, when he had asked to be upgraded from economy to business class. "He told me he had a problem, that he was being harassed by other passengers, that he was famous and asked did I know who he was," she said.  Adding "He was angry, saying he was a gold-card holder and that he needed to be moved because of this."  His request was denied as the flight was full. 

The court heard Ryan had made comments about the looks of cabin crew member Leah Gordon, calling her a "chocolate cookie", the flight attendant said the remarks were "unacceptable and so derogatory" and had made her feel "intimidated" and "embarrassed".  Ryan had made remarks about her complexion and told her he was going to have her children, she told the court. "It felt like he was saying I was beautiful for a black person because of the way he was describing my colour,".

The former pop star had previously said his behaviour was just "playful" and "it was banter, just drunk banter I suppose, there was no malice or intention to upset anyone."

The judge ordered Ryan to pay £2,500 compensation to the cabin crew member, £750 to another member of the cabin crew, and £510 in costs.