A man has been convicted of racially aggravated intentional harassment, alarm or distress after shouting antisemitic abuse at members of Shomrim, London’s Jewish neighbourhood watch patrol.
The incident took place on 5th November 2015 when volunteers from Shomrim were called to a burglary. Whilst they assisted the Muslim victim, Mark Zahra saw the scene and assumed that Shomrim were reporting the Muslim victim to the police and shouted at Shomrim’s volunteers: “F***ing Jewish scum. Why do you keep calling them [the police], because he’s Muslim?”
Last Thursday, following testimony by Shomrim’s volunteers, Mark Zahra was convicted at Wood Green Crown Court of racially aggravated intentional harassment alarm or distress under section 4A of the Public Order Act (see the relevant part of our guide to the Law of Antisemitism).
The sentence was a 12-month Community Order and a curfew for 4 months.
Cases of antisemitism are rarely prosecuted and Shomrim’s swift action and perseverance is to be applauded. In 2015, the Crown Prosecution Service prosecuted 15,442 cases of hate crime, but Campaign Against Antisemitism, Shomrim and CST are aware of only twelve prosecutions for antisemitic hate crime, despite the 26% rise in antisemitic hate crime during 2015, which made it the worst year on record.
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