Man accused of Ryanair racist outburst apologises to victim

  • Video report by ITV News reporter Martha Fairlie

The man at the centre of a racism row has apologised to his victim and says he regrets his behaviour.

David Mesher called Delsie Gayle an "ugly black b******" and told her "don't speak to me in a foreign language, you stupid ugly cow" after getting on a Ryanair flight from Barcelona to Stansted Airport.

Mr Mesher had become disgruntled about the amount of time it took her to get from her seat to allow him past.

"I probably lost my temper a bit and ordered her to get up," Mr Mesher told ITV’s Good Morning Britain.

"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 Mrs Gayle and her daughter, Carol Gayle, rejected the apology over the language used on the plane on October 19.

Asked if she accepts the apology, Mrs Gayle told ITV News: "It's going to take a long time for me to accept his apology and everything, because I feel very low and degraded for him to call me those names.

"It's going to take a long time for me to get over it.

"I didn't look at it [the interview on This Morning] because I was crying. "

Her daughter added: "I'm not going to say anything at the moment because we've only just seen 'This Morning' - it's still a lot to take in."

Delsie Gayle appeared on Good Morning Britain, too. Credit: ITV

They also renewed their criticism of Ryanair, saying they are still yet to hear from the budget airline, branding its statement saying staff had apologised "lies".

In a statement, Ryanair said: "Our customer care team contacted the Gayle family on Sunday.

"We have reported this to the police in Essex. As this is now a police matter, we cannot comment further."

Ryanair say they have contacted Mrs Gayle with a letter sent via email and post.

A spokesman for Ryanair added: “We again extend our very sincere apologies to this passenger for the regrettable, and unacceptable remarks that were made to her by an adjacent passenger, and we believe that by reporting this matter immediately to the Essex Police and by apologising in writing to this customer early on Sunday morning, Ryanair treated it with the urgency and seriousness it warranted.

"We trust that this statement will address the inaccurate media coverage of this incident over recent days, and that the legal rights of both passengers will be respected, while the Police services in Essex and Barcelona conduct their investigation of this matter, with Ryanair’s full cooperation and assistance.”

The police have since spoken to Mr Mesher about the incident.