Blue singer Lee Ryan found guilty of racially aggravated assault of BA flight attendant


Blue singer Lee Ryan has been found guilty of the racially aggravated assault of a black female cabin crew member on a British Airways flight.

It comes after an incident on a plane journey from Glasgow to London on 31 July last year.

Ealing Magistrates’ Court heard the singer was “slurring his words and staggering around” after drinking a whole bottle of port before the flight.

On the plane, the 39-year-old pop star was refused more alcohol and told to sit down. He then made comments about Leah Gordon’s looks, before grabbing her wrists.

Police footage showed Ryan “snarling” and swearing at officers after biting one of them.

He was found guilty of being drunk on an aircraft, racially aggravated common assault by beating, and behaving in an abusive way towards the cabin crew member.

The singer was also found guilty of assaulting a police officer by biting.

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Ryan told the court: “I’m sorry. My band member is black, I’m not racist, I’ve had black girlfriends, mixed-race girlfriends.

“It was banter, just drunk banter I suppose, there was no malice or intention to upset anyone.”

He added: “I didn’t mean to cause any distress to anyone or be racist, it was just a poor choice of words I suppose.”

He claimed his actions were merely “playful”.

Ryan, who said he lives in Spain, was granted unconditional bail and the case was adjourned until 24 February.

He shot to fame in 2001 with the boyband Blue.

Their debut song All Rise reached number four in the UK singles chart and topped the charts in New Zealand.

Blue went on to score three UK number one singles across four years before splitting in 2005 so the band members could pursue solo careers.

The band reunited last year with an album and UK tour.

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