on air now

Revealed: Ray Hadley identifies man who verbally abused 6yo Down Syndrome girl

Ray Hadley has named a man who called a young Down Syndrome girl “a retard” on a Qantas flight three weeks ago.

Last month Ray Hadley received a tip about the incident on Qantas Link flight 2172 from Sydney to Port Macquarie.

Witnesses and Qantas have confirmed the incident, saying a man in his 60s was removed by airline staff after verbally abusing the little six-year-old.

Another Down Syndrome woman, Jackie, was sitting nearby and was left distraught by the incident, phoning Ray Hadley to thank him for his support.

Ray can now reveal the man involved is Sydney barrister Doctor Stephen C. Thornton, who specialises in medical negligence.

It turns out Dr Thornton was seated next to the young girl and allegedly said to a flight attendant, “Oh ok. I have to sit next to the retards now”.

The father of the young girl took exception to the comment and confronted him.

Dr Thornton has admitted to his behaviour in an off-air phone call with The Ray Hadley Morning Show.

“I told the flight attendant, ‘There’s some retarded people sitting in my seat. It’s not very good.'”

“Yes, I admit I referred to the girl as retarded,” says Dr Thornton.

“But I never swore and I never directed my abuse at the child.”

Asked if he understood why a father would take exception to such comments about their child, this was Dr Thornton’s response.

“The father wasn’t a part of the conversation so had no need to respond the way he did.”

Click PLAY below to hear the full story of Dr Stephen C. Thornton’s abuse

Dr Thornton claims he has contacted Qantas to apologise but is yet to hear back and says he’s unsure whether he’s been banned from the airline.

He requested Ray Hadley’s staff pass on his apologies to the father and also offered a letter to the family apologising.



Man booted from flight for abusing young disabled girl


‘I’m going to text Alan Joyce’: Ray demands life ban for man who abused Down Syndrome passengers