A Qatar Airways passenger is facing jail after he wrote “death to Allah” on his armrest on a flight into Heathrow Airport.
Joseph Breslin, 36, claimed that he was “tired and irritated” with business class service before he wrote the Islamophobic note on a napkin attacking Muslims wearing headscarves, dropping it between two passengers after the plane landed.
Prosecutor Bill McGivern said: “He was in the business class section and was complaining throughout the flight.
“As the plane was coming to land, one of the crew noticed him scribbling on the armrest of the seat.
“He then left his seat and went between two other passengers, leaving a note which was very derogatory towards people who wear headscarves and it said ‘death to Allah’.”
Mr McGivern added that the note written in English was translated to the passengers who were left “frightened and terrified”.
“They had been travelling to this country and had this effectively thrust under their noses,” said Mr McGivern.
Complaints were made to airline staff and he was arrested as he got off the plane on July 8.
Defending Breslin, Jeremy Wainwright, said the incident was out of character: “He had become irritated by his fellow passengers, he felt in particular they appeared to have an attitude towards him.”
Breslin pleaded guilty to two charges of religiously aggravated harassment and one count of religiously aggravated criminal damage.
Judge Annabel Darlow QC released him on bail, but said: “Nothing has been said which sheds any light on why Mr Breslin chose to behave in this extraordinarily offensive and unpleasant way.”
She added that he should expect a jail term when he is sentenced on Tuesday 31 October.
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