Drunken beauty was on verge of being dangerous: Flight captain

Drunken beauty was on verge of being dangerous: Flight captain

Capt Vivek Sondhi told Isleworth Crown Court in London on Tuesday that he noticed Carol Irby and Daniel Melia “sprawled” over two rows of seats when he walked around the aircraft four hours into the Bangalore-London flight.

“When I was in economy, I saw these two people. They asked me for a drink which of course I refused. In normal circumstances, there is no guest on board who will offer a captain a drink. It is very abnormal,” Sondhi told the court, which is trying Irby, a descendant of the wealthy family that owns Guinness beer, and Melia.

Irby, 30, was arrested along with Melia on March 26 when the flight touched down on Heathrow. The staff and passengers on the flight have accused the two of lewd and drunken behaviour, including kissing and cavorting while Melia’s girlfriend slept.

Allegations denied

However, Irby insisted she had no more than four or five glasses of wine during the flight and was very tired. She also denied romping with Melia, declaring: “Nobody touched my breasts, this was something I would remember as a woman, I assure you.”

The court heard that Detective Constable David Sexton of Heathrow CID, who interviewed Irby after her arrest, told her: “You have been arrested for being drunk on an aircraft and lewd behaviour on an aircraft.” Irby replied: “I don’t know what this lewd behaviour is.”

On hearing details of what she had been accused of she said she was “shocked” adding: “It sounds like I’m hearing about a stranger.” When Sexton asked her if the overall account was true, she replied: “There’s some stuff there I really can’t remember, and there’s stuff there (that sounds like) I didn’t behave like a young lady.”

Irby told the court she had never stripped off. Instead she had changed into trousers by pulling them up under her skirt —“a trick we have all learned of in childhood.”

Passenger Polly O’Callaghan told the court that Melia’s girlfriend, model Sarah Hannon, had a row with him over his behaviour. O’Callaghan said once Hannon moved away, Irby and Melia “became quite flirtatious”, adding: “He was touching her face over the seats.”

“She did say ‘I am not normally this relaxed, it is all the opium I have been taking’,” O’Callaghan said, but added Irby may have been joking.

Irby was accompanied by her two-year-old son on the flight. “She asked the air hostess for a nappy bag. The air hostess went to get the nappy bag and she threw the dirty nappy on the seat behind her,” said O’Callaghan. “I think she did it because she thought the air hostess had not come quick enough. She asked for a wet wipe at one point, She said, ‘Get this s*** off my hand’.” O’Callaghan also heard Irby “very loudly” calling an air hostess “a bitch”.