A young scholar, who is the son of an MIT professor, downed a cocktail of whiskey and wine during a flight and slammed his seat into a lady doctor during a legroom row, branding the cabin crew "fascists" as they tried to calm him.
Kabir Banerjee, 22, (pictured) who is studying philosophy at University College London, continuously complained about a lack of space on the British Airways flight and was arrested after the plane landed at Heathrow Airport.
He pleaded guilty to assaulting Dr. Alexandra Damazer and being drunk on an aircraft during the Boston to London flight on November 11, last year and was yesterday conditionally discharged for two years and ordered to pay £1,000 compensation to the victim.
During the flight Banerjee had three glasses of wine, one whiskey, had been drinking before boarding the plane and had taken sedatives for insomnia.
Prosecutor Mr. Douglas Adams told Isleworth Crown Court: "He was drunk and there was some medication he has taken for insomnia that did not help.
"Dr. Damazer was sitting behind the defendant during the flight and recalls he kept putting his seat back fully and when asked politely to put it upright he refused.
"She describes his behaviour as strange and erratic. He seemed to be talking to himself and was kicking the chair in front of him.
"The person who was sitting in front of the defendant also complained and Dr. Damazer says there was a lot of conversation in front of her and Mr. Banerjee was pushing his knees into the chair in front."
The student, who has also attended the University of Warwick and the London School of Economics, was heard to complain: "There isn't enough space. I'm being kicked from behind."
He was asked to calm down by the cabin staff, but replied: "I'm going to sue you all. This is ridiculous, there isn't enough space."
Eventually the dispute with Dr. Damazer escalated and Banerjee told her: "If you do it again I'll hit your legs."
The doctor later told police: "He slammed his chair into my left knee hard. It was painful and brought tears to my eyes."
"His behaviour was offensive towards the staff. He called them fascists and said they should not be ordering him around," added Mr. Adams.
The first-time offender was allowed to return home to the United States and flew back to London with his professor mother for the sentencing hearing.
Judge Anna Guggenheim QC told Banerjee: "You had taken a fairly strong sedative, which did react with alcohol in a way you would not have foreseen.
"You became agitated and remained so throughout the flight and you harassed Dr. Damazer and the person in front of you.
"You threatened her and you deliberately slammed your seat backwards and the cabin staff were subjected to rudeness by you."