Man found guilty of religiously aggravated attacks on Jewish victims
A 30-year-old man from West Yorkshire has today (10 November) been found guilty of three religiously aggravated crimes against members of the Jewish community in the Stamford Hill area of London.
The man, Abdullah Qureshi, was found guilty of one count of religiously aggravated grievous bodily harm, and two counts of religiously aggravated assault by beating.
The incidents took place on 18 August 2021, when Qureshi, having travelled to the Stamford Hill area, assaulted a number of passers-by he believed were members of the Jewish faith.
He first assaulted a 30-year-old man, Chaim Greenfield, on Cazenove Road, at approximately 6.40pm, hitting him in the side of the face with a bottle. Just over an hour later, at 7.45pm, he slapped the face of a 14-year-old boy, who was wearing a traditional Jewish coat and hat, on Holmdale Terrace.
45 minutes later, Qureshi punched his final victim, a 63-year-old man, Jacob Lipschitz, in the face as he was on his way to evening prayers at the synagogue on Stamford Hill. Mr Lipschitz fell into a wall and then briefly lost consciousness. The victim was later taken to Homerton Hospital where he had an operation to repair four fractures to his foot.
All of the attacks were unprovoked, with the victims chosen because they appeared to be of the Jewish faith.
Qureshi was arrested by West Yorkshire Police on 2 September 2021, at his home in Parker Street, Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, when he was recognised following a Metropolitan Police Service appeal.
Varinder Hayre, District Crown Prosecutor, said: “The assaults Abdullah Qureshi carried out were entirely unprovoked and based solely on his religious hatred. Mr Lipschitz, continues to suffer pain and dizziness several months after the attack, and the 14-year-old boy was traumatised by the incident and remains fearful when he is in the street.
“We had a strong case and I’m pleased the court agreed. The random nature of these attacks also caused fear more widely across this close-knit community, given it was clear that the attacks were religiously motivated.
“This type of hate crime, against any community, will be robustly prosecuted. The charges chosen by the CPS allow the court to increase the sentence to reflect the religious hatred that motivated these attacks.”
Lionel Idan, national Hate Crime Lead said: “Religious hatred is absolutely abhorrent and this successful prosecution serves to reinforce our strong stance against hate crime and our continuing focus on bringing more offenders of such crimes to justice.
“The defendant’s deliberate targeting of the victims because of who they are, undoubtedly had a wider impact on many within and outside the Jewish community.
“I hope this conviction acts as a deterrent and sends out a strong message that hate crime of all forms will not be tolerated.”
Qureshi has been committed for sentence at Snaresbrook Crown Court to appear on 8 December 2022.
Notes to editors
- Abdullah Qureshi, DOB: 11/10/1992 (30) from Parker Street, Dewsbury, West Yorkshire
- Varinder Hayre is a CPS District Crown Prosecutor