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Ryanair race row passenger David Mesher faces prosecution in Spain | UK News



A Ryanair passenger who was filmed racially abusing an elderly black woman is facing prosecution in Spain after British authorities said they had no power to charge him.

David Mesher, who lives in Birmingham, was filmed calling 78-year-old disabled widow Delsie Gayle an “ugly black b******” on a flight from Barcelona to London on 19 October last year.

On Tuesday, Spanish authorities confirmed that criminal proceedings have been launched against him, one day after Essex Police said prosecutors in Britain could not charge him.

Ryanair was also criticised by authorities in Spain after asking Ms Gayle to change seat “instead of prompting the aggressor’s change”, according to an official complaint.

‘Throw him off the plane!’

The budget Irish airline was widely criticised at the time after a video of the row went viral on social media.

A spokeswoman for Barcelona City Hall, Helena Mercadal, said: “After the incident Barcelona City Hall presented the complaint to the public prosecutor as a hate crime case.

“The public prosecutor has opened criminal proceedings for this case, which means it is being processed. We will now have to wait and see what the public prosecutor says.”

Ms Gayle’s family welcomed the proceedings after being left “disappointed” by the inability to prosecute Mr Mesher in Britain.

“We’re happy that this is being taken seriously,” her daughter Carol Gayle told HuffPost UK on Tuesday.

A complaint about the incident was handed to Barcelona City Hall through the city’s Office for Non-Discrimination on 25 October.

It said that Mr Mesher’s aggressive behaviour had a clear intention of “undermining the moral integrity” of Ms Gayle.

David Mesher
David Mesher later apologised to Ms Gayle during a TV interview

The complaint added that the decision of flight crew to find another seat for Ms Gayle facilitated the “coercive goal” of Mr Mesher.

Mr Mesher, who didn’t want to sit next to Mrs Gayle on the flight, said at one point: “I don’t care whether she’s f****** disabled or not – if I tell her to get out she gets out.”

He gave an interview to ITV’s Good Morning Britain after the incident in which he apologised to Ms Gayle and denied being a racist.

“I’m not a racist person by any means, and it’s just a fit of temper at the time I think,” he said.

Mr Mesher, who lives in sheltered accommodation in Birmingham, added in a message to Mrs Gayle: “I apologise for all the distress you’ve had there and since.”

Ryanair previously apologised to Ms Gayle.

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