An elderly black woman who was racially abused on a Ryanair plane has said she does not accept an apology from the man who called her an “ugly black bastard”.
Delsie Gayle was made to move seats by Ryanair staff in the shocking incident filmed by fellow passenger David Lawrence on October 19.
David Mesher, 70, claimed he was “not a racist person” said he had asked Gayle to get up several times so he could access the window seat before he unleashed the racist tirade.
Appearing in a pre-recorded clip on ITV’s Good Morning Britain, Mesher said: “I asked her to get to the window seat, I said I had to get to the window seat and there didn’t seem to be any response, and then asked her again.
“She didn’t seem to want to get up or didn’t seem to, and then I probably lost my temper a bit and ordered her to get up.”
Asked if he regretted his choice of words, he said: “Oh absolutely, I’m not a racist person by any means, and it’s just a fit of temper at the time, I think.
“Well I apologise for all the distress you’ve had there and since.”
A visibly upset Delsie was comforted by hosts Ben Shepherd and Charlotte Hawkins as she watched the video from the studio alongside her daughter, Carol Gayle.
Delsie said: “I’ve never gone through this sort of thing, never in my life anybody abuse me like that and call me [those names].”
The woman, a member of the Windrush generation, said she has spent the last week depressed, adding “all I’ve been doing is crying, crying, crying. I can’t sleep”.
“I said why me? Why? Is it the colour of my skin why he abused me like this?”
She added that she “didn’t think” she would accept the apology.
“You must forgive and forget but it’s going to take a long time for me to get over what he has done to me.”
Responding to the clip, Carol, 53, said: “He says he wasn’t racist - he wouldn’t be saying words like that if he wasn’t racist.
“I don’t think he knows what he put my mum through.
“More people could have intervened.”
Despite a statement from Ryanair saying their customer care team had contacted the Gayle family, Carol said: “We’ve heard nothing from Ryanair. We’ve not had an apology.”
“We’d like a direct apology to mum, and a public apology as well.
“They just want to sweep this under the carpet like nothing’s happened, and it’s just wrong.”
Shortly after the segment, Ryanair released a long-awaited apology to Gayle along with a full statement on the matter.