A Mottingham man who ordered a banana to a black customer's table via the Wetherspoons app has been convicted of a hate crime.

Louie Kincella, 20, was found guilty of a racially aggravated offence under the Public Order Act at Bexley Magistrate's Court on Friday, September 11.

He was fined a total of £600 and has to pay costs of £620 in addition.

The court heard that the 25-year-old Mark D'arcy-Smith was having an after work drink with a friend at the Richmal Crompton in Westmoreland Place, Bromley, on November 8, 2019, when staff brought over a plate with a single banana on it and an accompanying receipt.

When the shocked communications professional told them neither he nor his friend had ordered the item, it was explained that they had received an order via the pub's app for a single banana costing 30p to go to table number 102 - the one they were sitting at.

Mr D'arcy-Smith explained he felt humiliated by the incident, which he firmly believed was racially motivated.

He 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."

When he next walked past the pub even the memory of what had happened left him trembling and his hands feeling shaky, he said.

In the days following the incident, the victim reported the matter to the police and an investigation was launched.

Kincella was arrested on 17 January at his home address.

While he did not deny being in the pub and admitted to ordering the banana, he insisted it was done 'for a joke' and that he did not intend for it to go anywhere other than his own table.

He was charged on April 3.

After the result, the victim paid tribute to the investigating officer for her efforts.

He 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."

Detective Inspector Stuart Hart, head of the Safeguarding Team, added: "There was no CCTV available, and it was not a straightforward matter to identify the suspect.

“This required a painstaking investigation by my lead officer, who paid meticulous attention to minor details in order to gather the vital evidence that led to this successful result.

"Hate crimes are a priority for the Met and we take all allegations very seriously.

“We know these are historically under-reported and would urge any victims to come forward and report to us - or to one of our third party partners if they feel more comfortable talking to them."

J D Wetherspoon subsequently apologised to the victim and explained that its process allows customers to order food and drinks to tables using numbers on an app - meaning items could be sent anywhere unidentified.