Saturday, October 24, 2020
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Victim’s relief at fine for pub banana order

Mark D'arcy-Smith

Mark D’arcy-Smith was having a drink with a friend when another customer used the pub’s ordering app to send a banana to his table.

He’s been speaking to Radio 1 Newsbeat about his relief at seeing that customer convicted of a racially aggravated public order offence.

Mark, a 25-year-old black man, says staff at The Richmal Crompton Wetherspoon pub in Bromley, south-east London initially told him to take his complaint to head office.

The 30p banana was sent anonymously and police described the search for the sender as “a painstaking investigation”.

Louie Kincella, 20,was found guilty this weekand ordered to pay £1280 in fines and court costs.

“It’s been stressing me out in the last year that the investigation would not go as far as I hoped.” Mark tells us.

“In the court I was with my dad and we both felt this massive weight lifted off our shoulders.

“It must have been the first time in ages that I got a good night’s sleep.”

The court hearing was the first time he had seen Kincella – and he was not what he expected.

“I was quite surprised as I had in my head what someone would look like.

“To see someone so young that was quite surprising to me.”

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Mark D’arcy-Smith

Image caption

The piece of fruit was sent to Mr D’arcy-Smith’s table in the Richmal Crompton pub

Mark says he doesn’t blame the server who brought the banana over but he had hoped the pub “would be more supportive”.

“I can accept that not everyone is going to be knowledgeable of when something doesn’t seem right.

“I was at peace with that. [I understand] they would have missed it.”

A Wetherspoon spokesman said the manager had met with Mr D’arcy-Smith “to apologise to him, and the company does so once again now”.

Mark says police took the incident, in November last year, seriously from the start.

“From the get-go, when we first spoke [to police] they wanted to make sure they took it as seriously as I have.

“Whenever they did hit a road block they let me know that they were still investigating.”

Mark works in consumer research and now wants to get back to focussing on his day job.

“You do hope [this means] you have less people feeling they can do what happened to me.”

Kincella has been barred from the pub.

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