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Boy band member sentenced after causing disruption on an aeroplane

|News, Hate crime

Lee Ryan, 40 from the band ‘Blue’ has been sentenced to a suspended term of imprisonment after displaying inappropriate behaviour towards a member of aeroplane cabin crew mid-flight.

On 31 July 2022, Ryan targeted a member of the cabin crew with inappropriate behaviour and racist comments. This included grabbing the victim by their wrists and stroking their arm, causing them distress, and using racist terms for the victim.

Ryan admitted to being drunk in an aircraft and pleaded guilty to this offence. He was also convicted of racially aggravated assault and threatening behaviour after a trial in the magistrates' court.

The magistrates felt that their powers of sentence were insufficient and sent Lee Ryan to the Crown Court to be sentenced. He appeared at Isleworth Crown Court on 28 September 2023 where he was sentenced to 12 months' imprisonment suspended for 18 months. He was also ordered to pay £3,250 in compensation and £510 in costs.

Kaviraj Choolun, District Crown Prosecutor, from the CPS said “Lee Ryan’s behaviour was unacceptable and caused significant distress to the victim and others on board the flight. The risk to the safety of the aircraft, its crew, and its passengers, is significant, if rules are not observed on board flights”.

“The CPS will continue to work with victims who have experienced inappropriate behaviour and racist abuse and secure justice for those subject to such appalling behaviours. We also hope that the conviction and sentence bring the victim at least a small sense that justice has been done”.

Notes to editors

  • Lee Ryan [DOB: 17.06.1983]
  • Kaviraj Choolun is a District Crown Prosecutor for CPS London North

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