THE family and friends of a Ryanair passenger who was filmed hurling racist abuse at an elderly black woman have reportedly disowned him.
David Mesher, who lives alone in Birmingham, was named yesterday as the man who launched into a racist tirade at 77-year-old Delsie Gayle as they boarded Flight FR015 from Barcelona to London Stansted on Friday.
In footage that went viral around the world, London-born Mesher called the pensioner an "ugly black bastard" and shouted: "Don’t speak to me in a foreign language, you stupid ugly cow."
Two West Midlands Police officers were pictured arriving at Mesher's sheltered retirement accommodation Yardley Wood, Birmingham on Wednesday afternoon:
— Josh Payne (@JoshPaynePA) October 24, 2018
The officers later left without Mesher, but the deputy mayor of Barcelona has called for investigating police there to treat the matter as a hate crime.
Mesher, who has never married, worked as a train announcer for London Midland Railways before his retirement and lived with his elderly mother until her death in the late 1980s.
Speaking to The Telegraph, an unnamed relative said he hoped Mesher would be sent to prison if found guilty of a crime.
"I saw that video and I would have stepped in. Someone on that plane should have done something," the family member said.
"I don't care if he's blood. He should be put in a Spanish jail."
A former colleague told the same paper: "David worshipped his elderly mother, so he was always respectful and polite to older people.
"I can’t understand why he’s done this."
A spokeswoman for Optivo, which runs the sheltered accomodation where Mesher lives, said: "We do not condone abusive behaviour in any form.
"As this matter is now being handled by the police we are unable to make any further comment at this stage."
Ryanair has been slammed for its handling of the incident, as Mesher was not removed from the flight and Ms Gayle was instead forced to move to another seat.
The airline previously tweeted on Sunday that it could not comment further because the incident was now a police matter.