Man who racially abused woman on Ryanair flight avoids charges in UK

Police say incident involving David Mesher happened in Spain, outside their jurisdiction

David Mesher filmed on Ryanair flight FR9015 from Barcelona to London on October 19th last.

David Mesher filmed on Ryanair flight FR9015 from Barcelona to London on October 19th last.


A Ryanair passenger who was filmed racially abusing a woman on a flight from Barcelona to Stansted will not face any charges in Britain, police have said.

UK police have said officers will pass the investigation to Spanish authorities.

David Mesher was on a plane on the tarmac at Barcelona airport last October when he began abusing Delsie Gayle, a 77-year-old woman originally from Jamaica.

His rant was filmed by a fellow passenger and uploaded to social media.

In the footage, Mr Mesher can be heard calling Ms Gayle an “ugly black bastard” and threatening to push her to another seat.

When she protested, he shouted: “Don’t talk to me in a foreign language, you stupid ugly cow.”

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said police had not submitted a file in order for it to consider a charging decision.

In a statement, Essex Police said: “Following disturbing footage on social media, we have completed a thorough investigation into reports a woman was subjected to racial verbal abuse on a stationary plane at Barcelona Airport.

“Although the offence did not happen within the jurisdiction of England or Wales, we conducted a thorough investigation and sought advice from the Crown Prosecution Service. They did not have the jurisdiction to advise on any charging decision.

“We have completed our inquiries as far as we are legally able to, given that the incident did not happen within our jurisdiction and are now in contact with the Spanish legal authorities so that they can determine how they wish to proceed.”

Mr Mesher later apologised over his treatment of Ms Gayle, saying he lost his temper “a bit”.

The apology came after Ryanair made a lengthy defence of its conduct and claimed it “immediately” reported the video to police.

Mr Mesher, who has been spoken to by police in Birmingham, where he lives, told ITV’s Good Morning Britain that the dispute began after he asked Ms Gayle to move from her seat but “she didn’t seem to want to get up”.

“I probably lost my temper a bit and ordered her to get up,” he said, adding that he “absolutely” regrets his behaviour.

“I’m not a racist person by any means and it’s just a fit of temper at the time, I think,” he continued. “I apologise for all the distress you’ve had there and since.”

But Ms Gayle and her daughter, Carol Gayle, rejected the apology over the language used on flight FR9015 from Barcelona to London on October 19th.

Asked whether she accepts the apology, Delsie Gayle said: “I don’t think so. You must forget and forgive but it’s going to take a long time for me to get over what he has done to me.”