British pub landlord faces jail for writing 'death to Allah' on Qatar Airways seat

Joseph Breslin faces jail for his behaviour on the Qatar Airways REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis

A London pub landlord is facing jail after he wrote "death to Allah" on the armrest of his Qatar Airways business class seat because he was angry with the service.

Joseph Breslin, 36, also scrawled an Islamophobic message on a napkin, attacking Muslims wearing headscarves, and dropped it between two passengers as the plane landed in Heathrow.

Breslin, from Bromley, south London, pleaded guilty to two charges of religiously aggravated harassment and one count of religiously aggravated criminal damage at Isleworth Crown Court, the Evening Standard reported on Wednesday (4 October).

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Judge Annabel Darlow QC freed him on bail until sentencing on 31 October, when she said he would likely face prison.

The court heard how Breslin had been complaining throughout the 8 July flight and became "tired and irritated" at the service. He believed a fellow passenger was deliberately spraying perfume to annoy him.

"As the plane was coming to land, one of the crew noticed him scribbling on the armrest of the seat," said prosecutor Bill McGivern.

"He then left his seat and went between two other passengers, leaving a note which was very derogatory towards people who wear headscarves and it said 'death to Allah.'"

McGivern said the note, which was written in English, was translated to the passengers who were then left "terrified".

Complaints were made to airline staff and Breslin was arrested as he disembarked at Heathrow.

Jeremy Wainwright, mitigating, said the incident was out of character for his client, who runs a pub in south London.

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"He had become irritated by his fellow passengers, he felt in particular they appeared to have an attitude towards him," Wainwright said.

"The last in question had been spraying perfume around, and he had perceived it was aimed at insulting him.

"The words on the armrest related to the plane service generally, and the fact he had become tired and irritated and that was directed at the airline."

Judge Annabel Darlow QC condemned Breslin's behaviour as "extraordinarily offensive and unpleasant".

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