Drunken airline passenger on Budapest-Edinburgh flight joked about ‘throwing Jews down the well’

A drunken airline passenger who joked about “throwing Jews down the well” has been ordered to perform 200 hours of unpaid work for the community within a year.

Brian Morrow, 48, of Calder House Road in Livingston, had pled guilty previously at Edinburgh Sheriff Court to behaving in a threatening, abusive and intimidating manner towards other passengers and staff on a Boeing 737 flight between Budapest and Edinburgh on March 3 this year. He uttered threats of violence and made racial, homophobic and sectarian remarks.

Sentence was deferred until April 2 for the production of background reports.

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Fiscal Depute, Christopher McKnight, had described how Morrow was consuming large amounts of alcohol and became increasingly intoxicated and abusive.

Edinburgh Sheriff Court. Pic: Ian Georgeson
Edinburgh Sheriff Court. Pic: Ian Georgeson

Asked on numerous occasions by cabin crew to stop, he continued a tirade of abuse, including telling one of the staff: “I will knock the beard off you and your two pals”.

And when a passenger intervened, Morrow called her “a Gypsy whore” and was heard shouting: “Throw Jews down the well”.

Defence solicitor, Graeme Runcie, told Sheriff Donald Corke that Morrow had been in Budapest with his fiance to celebrate her 40th birthday.

Mr Runcie said that alcohol had been consumed, clearly at a high level, and that his client did not have “a complete recollection” of the incident.

Morrow, he said, was a Jewish gentleman and a Social Care Practitioner.

Mr Runcie said his client was a nervous flier and an asthmatic, having taken medication before the flight and then completely overdoing the alcohol.

Morrow, he said, had been mocking Anti-Semitism and the comment he made about the Jews had been delivered in the style of “Borat” from a 2006 Sacha Baron Cohen film about a journalist, Borat, in Kazakhstan.

Mr Runcie added: “Clearly it was a gross error of judgement” and “an attempt at humour which did not work.”

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