An IT consultant racially abused a female British Airways cabin crew member and demanded he be served only by a “white girl,” a court has heard.
Peter Nelson, 46, became irate after being woken up by Sima Patel-Pryke while flying business class from London’s Heathrow to Rio de Janeiro, in Brazil, jurors were told.
The father-of-three, who works for the pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline, allegedly said: “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.”
So worried by his behaviour were crew that they prepared a restraining kit ready to be used.
Michael Tanney, prosecuting, said: “It’s no mere mischief to say he bullied and ranted and shouted.
“At one point, after a sustained targeting of her, she begins to back away in fright and became tearful.”
He added: “Nelson subsequently demanded services in the future only from the white member of the crew.”
And he said: “It’s no trifling complaint that one has misbehaved on an aeroplane at 3,000ft to the extent that a restraining kit has been made ready.”
Lauren Sales, defending, said Nelson accepted he had been tired and petulant during the flight on 2 June last year.
But she said: “He said, ‘he didn’t want that one serving him, he wanted another one’ – maybe words that you and I might not use to speak to cabin crew, but certainly not racist.
“The prosecution put it to Mr Nelson, ‘oh, you were drunk, that’s why you acted in this way,’ but we know not a single one of the prosecution witnesses said Mr Nelson was slurring. They did say he had the boozy breath.”
Nelson denies one count of racially aggravated abuse.
The trial continues.