Flight Fondling:’ Court Clears Socialite Mother

Clare Irby, socialite, mother and a descendant of the Guinness brewing family accused of letting a stranger fondle her breasts and being drunk on board a Kingfisher Airlines flight from the Indian silicon city of Bangalore to London’s Heathrow airport on March 26 has been cleared of charges by the Isleworth Crown Court.

Irby, 30, accused of drinking up to 12 glasses of red wine on the flight, smiled and looked at the ceiling as the jury foreman read out the verdict.

During the trial, Irby denied being drunk, saying she was sleep deprived at the time of the incident.

She said she only had “four or five” glasses of wine and was “tipsy” but not drunk and had full control of her faculties during the incident.

Irby admitted that she spoke to fellow passenger, Daniel Melia, but said: “I can assure you no-one touched my breasts.”

She denied there was any issue with the way she changed her clothes on the flight, saying she took care to protect her dignity.

However she admitted talking loudly, saying that her son “doesn’t listen to me if I whisper”.

Polly O’Callaghan, another passenger on the flight, alleged that Ms Irby had been acting flirtatiously with her male co-passenger.

The man was leaning forward and grabbing hold of her breast and they were kissing each other, said flight attendant, Arpita Mehra.

Flight attendant Shivangi Sharma said Irby took off her skirt, revealing her G-string, before changing into a pair of leggings.

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