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Ryanair racism row: Man who abused black woman is named as airline is pressured for apology

The mayor of Barcelona called the video 'unbearable'

Cathy Adams
Wednesday 24 October 2018 15:02
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Man racially attacks elderly black woman on Ryanair flight

The man who racially abused a fellow passenger on a Ryanair flight has been named, amid growing calls for Ryanair to apologise over the incident.

Yesterday, Essex Police said they had identified the man who racially abused 77-year-old Delsie Gayle on flight FR9015 from Barcelona to Stansted last Friday. Fellow passenger David Lawrence filmed the incident, which saw a white man calling Mrs Gayle “an ugly black bastard” and shouting “don’t talk to me in a foreign language you stupid ugly cow”.

The Ryanair passenger who abused Mrs Gayle was reported today by MailOnline to be 70-year-old David Mesher, a former railway worker from Birmingham who resides in sheltered housing.

It is thought he was identified by neighbours and a former work colleague after they saw the viral video, which has been watched almost seven million times on Facebook.

Ryanair is facing mounting pressure to apologise to Mrs Gayle, who told ITV News yesterday that she didn’t know when she would recover from the incident “because every time I remember I cry”.

Elderly victim of racist abuse on Ryanair flight in 'shock' and left facing 'sleepless nights'

It comes as the mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau, called the video “unbearable”, adding that Barcelona “wouldn’t take this lying down”.

She said: “As a city we’re going to take this seriously, initiate legal action and present the video as proof. Not just so that this racist, hate-filled man is punished, but also to force the company to change its procedures in such cases and support victims rather than aggressors.”

More than 215,000 people have signed a Change petition, calling for Ryanair to apologise and compensate Mrs Gayle.

The case is currently being investigated by the Spanish Police, as the UK-bound plane was on the tarmac at Barcelona Airport at the time the attack happened.

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