Man sentenced for pinning up anti-Jewish posters on Gants Hill synagogue and Tube underpass
PUBLISHED: 16:56 20 September 2019 | UPDATED: 16:58 20 September 2019
A man who put up anti-Semitic posters outside a Gants Hill synagogue and at Gants Hill Tube station underpass has been sentenced.
Shehroz Iqbal, 27, of Kenwood Gardens, Gants Hill, appeared at Snaresbrook Crown Court today (Friday, September 20) for displaying written material that is threatening, abusive or insulting intending thereby to stir up racial hatred.
The court heard how on the evening of March 19, 2017, a member of the public exiting Gants Hill Underground Station via the underpass saw Iqbal, who was dressed in camouflage clothing and a hoody, taping posters to the underpass walls.
On closer inspection, he saw that the posters displayed anti-Semitic messages and called the police.
He then saw Iqbal walk towards the Chabad Lubavitch Synagogue, Eastern Avenue and pin up more anti-Semitic posters.
Both incidents were caught on CCTV.
Redbridge police arrived shortly afterwards, but Iqbal had already fled.
They seized the posters, which were forensically examined and subsequently linked to Iqbal.
The investigation was furthered by the Counter Terrorism Command and on March 23 2018, detectives arrested Iqbal at his home address.
He was taken to an east London police station for questioning and admitted to the offence.
Iqbal was later charged and pleaded guilty at Snaresbrook Crown Court.
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Today, the judge sentenced him to 12 months imprisonment (suspended for 24 months), 30 days rehabilitation activity, 60 hours unpaid work and a £100 fine for breach of a previous suspended sentence,
Commander Richard Smith, head of the Met's Counter Terrorism Command, said: "The slogans on the posters Iqbal was displaying were clearly intended to stir up racial hatred towards the Jewish community.
"Police quickly responded to the situation and carried out a thorough investigation, resulting in the arrest and prosecution of Iqbal.
"I praise the actions of the member of public who swiftly reported the incident to police.
"By people coming forward with such information we can act to quickly resolve a situation, as we have done here.
"The Met is committed to tackling hate crime in all its forms and this investigation shows our determination to pursue those who seek to sow racial hate and division within London's communities.
"I want to reassure the Jewish community, and indeed, all of London's communities, that we take such offences extremely seriously and will strive to identify and bring those responsible to justice."
Any suspicious behaviour or activity can be reported via the Action Counters Terrorism (ACT) website at www.gov.uk/ACT or alternatively, call the Anti-Terrorist Hotline in confidence on 0800 789 321.
Police urge anyone with information about hate crime to contact 101 or through Twitter @MetCC - in an emergency residents should dial 999.
"This will enable to use to act as quickly as possible to catch those responsible," a Met Police spokesman said.
"You can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously to report crime on 0800 555 111."
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