Teenage brothers convicted over racial attack on rabbi in Hackney
Two teenage brothers have been convicted of attacking a rabbi who had been visiting the country from Israel.
The youths, aged 15 and 16, approached the victim who was dressed in traditional Jewish attire before repeatedly kicking him to the ground and verbally abusing him.
The 54-year-old victim was left shaken after the incident in Amhurst Park in Hackney. His glasses were knocked off, his back was injured and his finger was left bleeding. The two teenagers ran off laughing after the attack on Friday, 29 November 2019.
The two youths from Hackney, who cannot be named for legal reasons, were convicted of racially or religiously aggravated assault by beating following a two-day trial at Stratford Magistrates’ Court which concluded today (Thursday, 25 June 2020).
The victim reported the matter to the local Jewish group, the Shomrim, who contacted the police in relation to the hate crime.
The defendants were identified through CCTV images which were circulated in a media appeal and led to the teenagers attending a police station where they were arrested.
Peter Alexandrou, from the CPS, said: “This was an unprovoked and despicable act against a Jewish man who was holidaying in the UK. He was clearly targeted in this hate crime and should not have been subjected to such behaviour in our society.
“The prosecution case included strong witness evidence and CCTV footage of the attack as well as CCTV tracking the defendants leaving the scene after the assault.
“I hope these convictions provide the victim with some closure and show just how seriously the CPS takes hate crime, which has a corrosive effect on our society and will be prosecuted robustly.”
Crimes that are motivated wholly or partly by hostility or demonstrate hostility towards the victim of the offence based on that person's presumed race, religion, sexual orientation, transgender identity or disability are eligible for an increased sentence. The defendants will be sentenced at the same court on 21 July. The CPS will be applying for a sentence uplift in this case.
Notes to editors
- Peter Alexandrou is a District Crown Prosecutor at CPS London North.