Blue singer Lee Ryan found guilty of racially aggravated assault
| Last updated
Featured Image Credit: WENN Rights Ltd / ZUMA Press, Inc. / Alamy Stock Photo
Blue singer Lee Ryan has been found guilty of racially aggravated assault.
The 39-year-old was given the verdict at Ealing Magistrates’ Court on Thursday (12 January) with regards to an incident that occurred on a British Airways flight from Glasgow to London City Airport on 31 July last year.
He told a black flight attendant 'I want your chocolate children' and asked her to kiss him while drunk on a plane, the court heard.
Prior to the flight, Ryan was 'slurring his words and staggering around' after drinking a whole bottle of port.
He was subsequently refused more alcohol on the plane and was told to return to his seat.
The singer then made comments about Leah Gordon’s appearance, referring to her as a 'chocolate cookie' before grabbing her wrists, it was alleged.
He is accused of being drunk on an aircraft, assaulting a police officer, racially aggravated common assault by beating and behaving in an abusive way towards the cabin crew member.
Gordon told the court on Thursday that Ryan initially called her 'beautiful' and put his sunglasses on her face.
"He was making comments about my complexion, 'you’re my chocolate darling, my chocolate cookie, and I’m going to have your chocolate children'," she explained.
"It felt like he was saying I was beautiful for a black person because of the way he was describing my colour."
After telling the singer to 'stay away', Gordon alleged that he grabbed both her wrists before passengers intervened.
She said: “He was towering over me, like he was leaning in to give me a kiss. He said to me ‘I want your chocolate children’.
“I was intimidated, I felt a bit embarrassed like I wasn’t doing my duty properly.
“To get comments about my colour whether intentional or not, it was just unacceptable and so derogatory.
“I just felt like it wasn’t fair and I shouldn’t have to put up with it. I don’t go to work to be assaulted or harassed.”
The pop star apologised to the court for his actions.
He said: “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.
“I didn’t mean to cause any distress to anyone or be racist, it was just a poor choice of words I suppose.
“I am sorry that I touched her, but that’s all I did, touch her lightly, by her admission.”
He told police officers in an interview, read to the court: “I wish I could ring her up and apologise and offer her some Blue tickets for the next tour.”