Lee Ryan found guilty of racially-aggravated assault


Lee Ryan has been found guilty of racially-aggravated assault.
The Blue singer faced a string of charges in relation to an incident on board a British Airways flight from Glasgow to London City airport on 31 July last year, and on Thursday (12.01.23), he was found guilty of being drunk on an aircraft, racially aggravated common assault by beating and behaving in an abusive way towards a cabin crew member.
In addition, he was found guilty of assaulting a police officer by biting, an incident which occurred when he was arrested after getting off the plane.
Earlier in the day, Ealing Magistrates Court heard the 39-year-old singer told the black flight attendant "I want your chocolate children".
Giving evidence, the cabin crew member said: "He was making comments about my complexion, you're my chocolate darling, my chocolate cookie, and I'm going to have your chocolate children.
"It felt like he was saying I was beautiful for a black person because of the way he was describing my colour."
She told him to "stay away" when he later approached her from behind and said: "Before I get off this plane I need a kiss from you."
She claimed he then grabbed her wrists before passengers intervened.
She added: "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 tearful singer told the court he had been "annoying" the passenger next to him by asking about the book he was reading, but had no recollection of anything after that.
He added: "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."
The 'All Rise' singer maintained his actions were "playful" and denied being racist with the use of chocolate.