A SUCCESSFUL human rights lawyer felt her life’s work was ruined after her conviction for racist abuse on an aircraft.

Simone Burns, of Hove, took her own life after mounting pressures on her mental health.

She had battled a cancerous lesion on her nose, and had shown signs of paranoid delusion in the months before her conviction.

The 50-year-old barrister had abused staff on Indian Airlines during a tirade which was filmed and went viral.

She spat into the face of one cabin crew member and called another an “Indian money grabbing c***.”

“I’m a f****** international human rights lawyer,” she shouted.

But the outburst was out of character, and after her conviction she was jailed for six months.

At Eastbourne Town Hall, Coroner Alan Craze head how comments from online bullies and media reports continued to add to pressures on her mental health.

Shortly after her release from prison on licence she was found dead at Beachy Head.

Her family described Ms Burns, who represented causes such as Women’s Aid, refugee action, and Palestinian rights groups, as someone committed to helping those who were persecuted.

They had noted she had become paranoid in the months before the airline abuse.

She had been served three bottles of wine, and had demanded a fourth, but cabin crew refused.

Previously she admitted being drunk on board an aircraft and two assault charges.

Ms Burns, of First Avenue, Hove, was a highly qualified, intelligent, caring and loyal person, friends said.

But the coroner said that her family felt opportunities to assess her mental health were missed before she took her own life.

Firstly because she was not deemed a danger to the public before the airline incident, and secondly by the judge in her case at Isleworth Crown Court.

No mental health report was ordered by the judge, and friends say the sentence was a strict one because of her standing as a barrister and because o the high profile of the incident.

Initially Ms Burns had believed someone had spiked her drinks, but after release from prison she watched the video of herself and was “devastated” and “mortified”.

It led to a huge amount of online abuse, the coroner reported, leaving her “traumatised and terrified of the possibility of going back to prison”.

Ms Burns, who wished to enter politics, felt she was targeted.

A probation officer said: “She couldn’t remember anything, she just felt her whole life’s work had been ruined.”

The “final trigger” was apparently a move by the UK Lawyers for Israel to have her struck off as a barrister, the inquest was told.

It meant she could no longer see a future for herself.

The coroner recorded a conclusion of suicide.