A man who called Jewish parents “dirty Jews” three times and attacked their baby in its pram has been found guilty of racially aggravated assault.
The incident took place in broad daylight in August 2019 when Adam Cassidy confronted the family outside a Costa coffee shop on a busy high street in St Alban’s, north of London. One of the Jews was wearing a kippah (skullcap). The altercation was filmed and the footage went viral.
Mr Cassidy, a twenty-year-old who according to media reports was raised in Egypt, apparently claimed in court that the victims had called him a “dirty Arab” first, but this suggestion was rejected. Mr Cassidy also kicked hoarding at the family.
The judge said to Mr Cassidy: “I don’t accept your evidence. I don’t accept that anybody called you anything. Whether it was an accident when you bumped into the buggy I don’t know. That doesn’t excuse what you did and doesn’t excuse your response. There are plenty of words you could have used if you just wanted to be rude; this was motivated by a racial motive. It was obvious that they were Jewish because of their skullcaps and for that reason you said ‘dirty Jew’ three times.”
He was found guilty of racially aggravated assault and of using an antisemitic slur.
A spokesman for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “We see more and more of this sort of casual antisemitism on our streets and it must be punished and deterred. This is a welcome ruling, but now the court must send a message of zero tolerance for antisemitism through an adequate and severe sentence.”
Campaign Against Antisemitism’s analysis of Home Office statistics shows that an average of over three hate crimes are directed at Jews every single day in England and Wales, with Jews almost four times more likely to be targets of hate crimes than any other faith group.