Teenage brothers convicted over racial attack on rabbi in Hackney
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Two teenage brothers have been convicted of attacking a rabbi who had been visiting the UK from Israel.
The youths, aged 15 and 16, approached the victim, who was dressed in traditional Jewish attire, before repeatedly kicking him to the ground and verbally abusing him.
The 54-year-old victim, who is a dayan who sits as a judge in Judaic courts, was in Hackney for a family wedding, was left shaken after the incident in Amhurst Park, Stamford Hill on November 29.
His glasses were knocked off, his back was injured and his finger was left bleeding.
The two teenagers, who cannot be named for legal reasons, ran off laughing after the attack.
They were convicted of racially or religiously aggravated assault by beating following a two-day trial at Stratford Magistrates’ Court which concluded today.
The victim reported the matter to the Jewish neighbourhood watch group, Shomrim, who alerted the police of the hate crime.
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The defendants were identified through CCTV images which were circulated in a media appeal.
Peter Alexandrou, from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), said: “This was an unprovoked and despicable act against a Jewish man who was holidaying in the UK. He was clearly targeted in this hate crime and should not have been subjected to such behaviour in our society
“The prosecution case included strong witness evidence and CCTV footage of the attack as well as CCTV tracking the defendants leaving the scene after the assault.
“I hope these convictions provide the victim with some closure and show just how seriously the CPS takes hate crime, which has a corrosive effect on our society and will be prosecuted robustly.”
The defendants will be sentenced at the same court on 21 July.
The CPS will be applying for a longer sentence, because crimes that are motivated wholly or partly by hostility or demonstrate hostility towards the victim of the offence based on that person’s presumed race, religion, sexual orientation, transgender identity or disability are eligible for an increased sentence.