A man who sent a banana to a black customer at Wetherspoons has been found guilty of a racially-motivated hate crime.
Punter Louie Kincella, 20, used the pub chain’s app to send the piece of fruit to Mark D’arcy-Smith’s table at the Richmal Crompton in Bromley, south-east London.
Mr D’arcy-Smith, 25, was shocked when the 30p banana arrived on a plate with a receipt stating “dessert”, and told the server that neither he nor his friend ordered it.
The media and marketing executive felt “highly humiliated” and believed it was a racially-motivated act.
When Kincella was arrested at his home, he admitted to ordering the banana but claimed he did it “for a joke” and he did not intend for it to be sent to any table but his.
Last week, Kincella, of Mottingham, was found guilty of a racially aggravated offence under the Public Order Act when he appeared at Bexley Magistrates’ Court.
He was hit with a fine of £600 and ordered to pay costs of £620. He has been banned from the pub.
Mr D’arcy-Smith, from London, told Mirror Online on Wednesday that he’ll likely never return to the pub due to the trauma he has experienced.
He said he still gets a “weird” feeling when he walks past, and he was “disappointed” that Kincella didn’t apologise to him.
Mr D’arcy-Smith said: “One of the things I hope comes from this is he does learn from this and realises what he did was wrong.”
On the night of the incident, Mr D’arcy-Smith told the server that no-one at his table ordered a banana. He was told that someone had placed an order via the pub’s app for a single banana for 30p and it was to be brought to the table he was sitting at.
Speaking after the incident last year, Mr D’Arcy-Smith said: “We both looked at each other then looked at the banana. It clicked that it wasn’t ours. It was clearly sent by someone who was trying to be racist.”
A police spokesperson said: “The victim explained he felt highly humiliated by the incident – which occurred around 10pm on the night – and that he firmly believed it was racially motivated.”
Mr D’Arcy-Smith said he was left so traumatised by the hate crime that he trembled and his hands started to shake when he walked past the pub for the first time after the incident.
The incident was reported to police within days, and officers identified Kincella and arrested him at his home on January 17 this year.
A police spokesperson said: “While he did not deny being in the pub and admitted to ordering the banana, he insisted it was done ‘for a joke’ and he did not intend it to go anywhere other than his own table.”
Kincella was charged on April 3.
Speaking after the case, Mr D’arcy-Smith said: “Hearing the verdict felt like a massive weight was lifted from my shoulders. I can’t thank DC Heywood and the Met enough for their support and guidance throughout.”
Last year, he posted a photo of the banana on Facebook as he described the incident.