Katherine Goldberg, a teacher from Ealing, west London, who groped a Virgin Atlantic steward and demanded sex while drunk on the plane, has avoided a jail sentence today.
Katherine Goldberg, 25, drank around a pint of whisky on board before apparently grabbing the cabin crew member’s crotch.
In mitigation, Isleworth Crown Court was told that South African-born Katherine Goldberg was convinced that the man was her boyfriend as a result of her “alcohol-induced illusion”.
Katherine Goldberg, who groped a Virgin Atlantic steward and demanded sex while drunk on the plane, has avoided a jail sentence today
Katherine Goldberg, who pleaded guilty at a previous hearing to sexual assault and being drunk on an aircraft, was on board a night flight from Johannesburg to Heathrow on August 24 at the time of the episode.
But a judge today said he did not want to impose a “lifetime punishment” on the teacher, who had been working at her mother Debbie’s Montessori nursery, St Michael’s, Barnes, South-West London.
The teacher has been suspended since the sex assault and her lawyers claimed she was liable to be struck off if she was jailed or placed on the sex offenders’ register.
The court heard Katherine Goldberg had downed “at least 50 centilitres of whisky” when the incident took place.
Prosecutor James O’Connell said at first the techer’s behaviour on the flight was described by witnesses as “very irritating” because she disturbed them while they were trying to rest.
Katherine Goldberg was eventually moved to the plane’s galley where one member of the cabin crew “took an interest in her care” and tried to calm her down.
James O’Connell went on: “However, it was at this point that the defendant’s antics changed and became rather sexual.
“She sat on his lap and grabbed hold of his genitalia through his trousers.”
Katherine Goldberg also spoke to the man suggestively and kept “making offers to him”, the court heard.
The woman was heard to tell the air steward: “Let me and you go somewhere. You can touch me anywhere you want, I don’t mind.”
James O’Connell said Katherine Goldberg was also heard to say the names of two men.
The prosecutor added: “In her complete alcoholic funk she was confusing him with her current boyfriend, Clayton, and Owen, a previous boyfriend.
“She was somehow imagining this was her boyfriend with whom she was interacting.”
Katherine Goldberg eventually went to sleep for around an hour but then woke up and continued to be loud and disruptive, the court was told.
Eventually the woman slept again, and remained asleep until the plane landed at Heathrow and she was met by police.
James O’Connell said she was “very co-operative” with the officers who questioned her, and admitted she had no recollection of events on board the plane but was very apologetic.
The total amount that Katherine Goldberg had drunk was not mentioned in court but it was believed she consumed her own alcohol that she had taken on board, rather than that supplied by cabin crew.
The air steward Katherine Goldberg sexually assaulted, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was said to have been unaffected by the incident.
The court was told that Katherine Goldberg has since admitted to having an alcohol problem and now attends Alcoholics Anonymous meetings five times a week.
She also went on a one-month residential course after realizing she had hit “rock bottom”.
Katherine Goldberg was fined £1,500 ($2,300), ordered to carry out an 11-month community order and 80 hours of unpaid work, and to pay £250 ($380) costs.
[googlead tip=”vertical_mic”]London riots spread last nights, with looting and violence escalating across Hackney, Ealing, Croydon, Clapham and Notting Hill and erupting in cities outside London, such as Liverpool, Birmingham, Bristol, Nottingham.
The London riots began in Tottenham on Saturday night following the deadly shooting by police of Mark Duggan, 29. Sunday night street violence spread to Brixton and to the following areas:
England riots mapping.
Hackney, East London
Rioting reigned for more than 3 hours on the Pembury Estate in Hackney as 300 masked people burned cars, looted shops and threw petrol bombs at riot police.
Burning debris – including motorbikes, bins and sticks – was piled around the estate.
On Mare Street, shops were looted.[googlead tip=”vertical_mic”]
A police officer in a solitary parked car was attacked shortly before 9 p.m., local time. His car windscreen was smashed with bricks and the car was pelted with sticks and bottles as a man shouted: “kill the police”.
Today a clean-up is being arranged in the borough.
England riots map.
[googlead tip=”lista_mica” aliniat=”stanga”]Croydon, South London
Residents were forced to jump from burning buildings as masked gangs set fire to shops, businesses, cars and homes. Plumes of smoke could be seen for miles.
Woman jumping from a burning building in Surrey Street
Family business Reeves, a furniture shop that has stood in the area for more than 100 years, was burned down.
Store’s owner, Trevor Reeves said:
“It’s just completely destroyed. Words fail me. It’s just gone, it’s five generations. My father is distraught. It’s just mindless thuggery.”
A woman was filmed jumping from a burning building which had been set on fire by rioters.
A 26-year-old man was injured in a non-fatal shooting.
Clapham, south London
A groups of 1,000 rioters – many of them wearing masks – raided a Debenhams store and a number shops in Lavender Hill. A jewellery shop was also looted.
Clapham police officers cluster near a burned out shop
Residents were told to stay indoors and the youths ran riot.
“We don’t want people getting hurt by their bombs and missiles,” an officer said.
Peckham, South-East London
500 rioters vandalized shops, lit fires and attacked police on Peckham High Street. A fire was started in a Greggs’ bakery.
Looters jump out from smashed up store in Peckham
A nearby bus was also set on fire and bins and an abandoned vehicle were set ablaze in Lewisham.
Ealing, West London
Gangs of rioters gathered opposite Ealing Broadway Tube, throwing bricks at local shops, starting fires in the street and setting cars ablaze.
Car fire extingushed on a street in Ealing
Bethnal Green, East London
A Tesco’s garage was looted and 2 officers were injured.
A shop on Roman Road was also broken into and robbed. Police said there had also been looting in Newham.
Fulham, West London
Rioters looted electrical store Curry’s.
Hammersmith, West London
Stores looted. Shopkeepers in Shepherd’s Bush barricaded their businesses to try to keep out troublemakers.
Woolwich, South London
PC World was looted and rioters made off with large flat screen TVs and other electronic goods.
Firefighters extinguishing the flames of a torched store in Woolwich
Camden and Chalk Farm, North London
Gangs of youths roamed, buildings were vandalized.
Enfield, North London
40 firefighters were called to fight a huge blaze at a Sony warehouse in Solar Way.