Sussex Police has confirmed that 90-year-old Paul Pawlowski has been convicted for displaying a placard including the words: “Pull the chain, flush the Jew mafia down the drain” on the Old Steine, Brighton at 12.20 on 28th May. When confronted, Mr Pawlowski, a Burgess Hill resident, told officers that if they took his antisemitic placard and leaflets, he would walk up and down North Street and shout his views, which included other antisemitic messages.
On Tuesday, Brighton Magistrates’ Court fined him £100, which was increased to £150 because of the antisemitic nature of his crime, and also ordered him to pay costs of £100 and a victim surcharge of £85.
Sussex Police hate crime sergeant, Peter Allan said: “I am pleased the court convicted the defendant in this case. People have a right to free speech, but hate speech will not be tolerated. If hate speech is not challenged appropriately, it can lead to communities feeling a sense of unease and can send a message to perpetrators that such behaviour is acceptable. This sentence sends out a clear signal that we will take a robust approach to those who target individuals based on their disability, gender identity, race, religion or sexual orientation. I hope this case will encourage other victims of hate to report such behaviour to the police. We will record all such incidents and take them seriously. We will investigate any allegations, irrespective of the age or any other demographic of those involved.”
Campaign Against Antisemitism thanks Sergeant Allan for his principled statement and commends Sussex Police for sending a strong message that they will not tolerate antisemitic hate crime.
We would like to thank Sussex Friends of Israel for providing information about this case.
Image credit: Andy Leates