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Drunk socialite 'strips' on Kingfisher flight

Source: ANI
Last updated on: September 15, 2009 14:01 IST
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A drunk British socialite reportedly stripped to her knickers and cavorted with a male passenger in full view of fellow travellers on a Kingfisher Airlines flight from Bangalore to Heathrow.

According to Bill McGivern, prosecuting, Clare Irby, 30, a descendant of the Guinness brewing family, began drinking red wine shortly after boarding the 11-hour flight in March this year.

Isleworth Crown Court in London was told that Irby allegedly let her toddler son run around the plane without a nappy on, and, at one stage, even tossed a soiled nappy onto a row of seats behind her.

She was even seen kissing fellow passenger Daniel Melia, and allowing him to fondle her breasts, despite the fact that his girlfriend was with him on the flight.

And when she was denied alcohol by the airline staff, who had been ordered by the captain not to give her any more, she became abusive towards them.

Flight attendant Shivaneji Sharma told the jury Irby had drunk three to four glasses of wine in the first 90 minutes of the flight.

'Her speech was slurred. She was asking for more and more red wine,' the Telegraph quoted her as saying.

'She had absolutely no clue about the child and the way she was behaving was not tipsy, but drunk,' she stated.

McGivern said that, at one point, Irby took off her skirt, revealing her black G-string, before changing into a pair of leggings in her seat in row 26 near the back of the aircraft.

'She was too drunk at that time that she herself didn't know what she was doing,' Arpita Mehra, another flight attendant, said.

'She was travelling with her kid and she was not in a state that could take care of her child. The child was alone and crying in the cabin. She was busy with the guest sitting behind her. They were having a conversation and getting personal with each other and the child was crying. The man was leaning forward and grabbing hold of her breast and they were kissing each other,' she said.

Asked how Irby reacted, she replied: 'She was enjoying it.'

Neil Saunders, defending, suggested to the air stewardess that Melia, who was not in court, had in fact touched Irby's upper arm, but she insisted it was her breast.

'She was behaving in an unruly manner,' Mehra added.

Saloni Khanna, director of the crew on flight number IT001, said that at one point she saw Irby sprawled across four seats.

'Her skirt had risen up to the waist and her underpants were visible. The child had dirtied his diapers and she wasn't aware. I told the crew to take care of the child,' she said.

After allegedly fondling Irby, Melia had an argument with another man and slapped him on the hand.

He then had a row with his girlfriend at the back of the plane, which led staff to call the police, asking them to attend on their arrival at the airport.

The jury was told Irby was arrested when the flight landed, and a police officer believed that she was still drunk when he attended to her.

In a police interview, Irby, whose late grandfather Robert Henderson was chairman of private bank Kleinwort Benson, said she was a single mother and was very tired on the flight.

She said she had no more than four or five glasses of wine during the flight and as she had not eaten properly it had affected her more than normal.

'She did not accept there was anything inappropriate with a male on the flight and didn't accept she had thrown a dirty nappy,' McGivern said.

Irby, of Fulham, west London, who attended court with her Old Etonian father Paul Aschan, denied being drunk on the aircraft.

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Source: ANI