Fairlop man locked up for rabbi assault

Souraka Djabouri

Souraka Djabouri was sentenced at Chelmsford Crown Court - Credit: Essex Police

A Fairlop man has been locked up after attacking a rabbi in what police said was a hate crime.

Rabbi Rafi Goodwin, 32, was assaulted outside the Chigwell and Hainault Synagogue in Limes Avenue on May 16 last year.

Souraka Djabouri, 19, of Tudor Crescent, Fairlop was sentenced at Chelmsford Crown Court to three years and seven months imprisonment.

He admitted GBH, theft and religiously aggravated criminal damage. 

The assault saw Rabbi Goodwin, who had worked at the synagogue for more than five years, need seven stitches and he suffered swelling around his right eye.

Det Supt Jon Burgess said: “Djabouri’s despicable behaviour in May last year was entirely unprovoked. He thought nothing of assaulting Rabbi Goodwin and abusing him because of his faith. 

“His actions were not only illegal, but they are abusive and insulting; this was a hate crime and it was treated as such from a very early stage."

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The incident happened when a man walked into the road from behind a parked van, causing Rabbi Goodwin to brake suddenly.

He was then verbally abused with reference to his Jewish faith and spat on, Essex Police said.

As Rabbi Goodwin tried to drive away from the area, he waited at the Fencepiece Road junction.

While there, his wing mirror on the passenger’s side was kicked off and the door was damaged.

When he got out to chase those responsible – taking photos to provide officers – he was assaulted and his mobile phone was taken, police said.

Prosecutors dropped charges against a second defendant from Fairlop, 26-year-old Abderrahman Brahimi, offering no evidence at an earlier hearing.

Supt Naomi Edwards, who leads Essex Police's response to hate crime, said it will not be tolerated by the force.

She added: “We want people to come forward and let us deal with the people that are perpetrating crimes against them. It’s wrong and needs to be challenged. That information will allow us to identify themes and take targeted action."

If you are a victim of hate crime, you can report it online, by dialling 101 or 999 if it is an emergency.