Spain has said that it will prosecute the Ryanair passenger who unleashed a racial tirade at a Windrush pensioner.
Authorities in Spain have now launched proceedings against David Mesher, 70, from Birmingham, after he was filmed calling 77-year-old Delsie Gayle, an ‘ugly black b*****d’ during a row on a plane in Barcelona last October.
The announcement comes a day after the UK confirmed it would not be pressing charges against the pensioner.
Today Barcelona Mayor Ada Colau confirmed that Spain would continue with legal action against the Ryanair passenger.
David Mesher, 70, was filmed hurling abuse at Delsie Gayle, 77, as she sat next to him on the Ryanair flight last year
Following her encounter with Mesher, Ms Gayle (pictured with her daughter, Carol, on Good Morning Britain) said that the abuse she suffered left her feeling depressed
Ms Colau told The Huffington Post: ‘In October, when everything happened, we denounced the situation to the prosecutor and he believes there is a case, so he’s actually prosecuting the case. The case is open.
‘The judiciary here in Spain goes slow – so this will not happen quickly.
‘Barcelona City Council has provided the prosecutor with the information regarding the victim and the testimony; he has everything in his hands and has reaffirmed to us today that there is a case and he will go on with it.’
Yesterday Essex Police, who had presented the evidence they had to the CPS, said that they were in communication with Spanish legal authorities if the country wished to proceed with prosecution.
The incident, which took place on October 19 last year during a flight from Barcelona to Stansted, saw David Mesher hurl vile abuse at Ms Gayle as she sat on a seat next to him.
The shocking incident was filmed by another passenger before it was put up on social media
During the footage, passengers are left watching on in horror as Mesher shouts at Ms Gayle
Ryanair flight attendants were unable to stop the verbally abusive tirade hurled by David Mesher
But Mesher later claimed he was not racist and said he lost his temper during a dispute over seats on the aircraft.
A fellow passenger filmed him abusing the east Londoner and flight staff then reported him to Essex Police when the flight touched down at Stansted.
The shocking video showed him shouting ‘don’t speak to me in a f****** foreign language’.
West Midlands Police then interviewed Mesher at his sheltered housing complex in Birmingham.
After a four-month UK police probe, Mirror Online revealed yesterday that the investigation had been shelved because lawyers ruled the offence could only be prosecuted in Spain.
It is understood that Spanish police were passed a file to prosecutors in the country after Essex Police said that it sought advice from the Crown Prosecution Service.
Windrush pensioner Mrs Gayle, who lives in Leyton, said in the aftermath of her ordeal that she felt ‘really depressed about it’, adding: ‘I go to my bed and say: “What have I done?”
Ms Gayle was left fighting back tears as she offered tearful interviews about her experience on the flight
‘I haven’t done anything for you to attack me. Because of the colour of my skin I was abused like that.’
Mesher appeared on Good Morning Britain shortly after the row and insisted that he was not racist.
‘I’m not a racist person by any means and it was just a fit of bad temper at the time,’ he said.
Addressing Mrs Gayle, he said: ‘I apologise for all the distress you’ve had there and since.’
He said he lost his temper as a result of Mrs Gayle not seeming to want to get up when he needed to reach the window seat.
‘I said I’ve got to get to the window seat and there didn’t seem to be any response,’ he said.
‘And then I asked her again, I said I have to get to the window seat and she didn’t seem to want to get up..or she didn’t seem to …then I probably lost my temper a bit and I ordered her to get up.’
In an interview with Good Morning Britain, Mesher (pictured) told the general public that he was not a racist
In her interview with Good Morning Britain, Delsie Gayle (pictured) said nobody helped her while she was being shouted at by Mesher
Mrs Gayle (pictured with her daughter, Carol) was subjected to vile racist abuse on a plane in Barcelona in October last year
Appearing on Good Morning Britain alongside her daughter, Carol, Mrs Gayle was asked if she accepted Mesher’s apology and responded: ‘I don’t think so’.
‘You must forget and forgive but it’s going to take a long time,’ she said. ‘I was so depressed all I’ve been doing just crying I cant sleep.’
They accused the airline of trying to ‘sweep it under the carpet’ and claimed to have had no contact from them and Carol says they are pursuing ‘legal action’.
As Mrs Gayle claimed ‘nobody’ helped her during the tirade, Carol added: ‘More people could have intervened and especially the gentleman – the flight attendant. He (Mesher) should have been taken off the plane, or moved, something should have been done.’
Ryanair said at the time that the airline only became aware of the incident the following day, when they saw the video.
But in the clip a flight attendant can be seen near Mesher during the row. It also shared a letter and email addressed to Mrs Gayle apologising for the incident.
Head of Communications Robin Kiely told MailOnline: ‘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.’
The row sparked anger when the video went viral online, with social media users slamming Mesher’s apology and Ryanair’s handling of the matter.