A couple who viciously attacked Jewish wedding guests, punching them and whipping them with a dog leash whilst shouting antisemitic abuse, have walked free. Thames Magistrates’ Court handed Ineta Winiarski and Kasimiersz Winiarski a suspended 12-week prison sentence on 5th September, allowing them to walk free paying a mere £40 to each of their victims, which is approximately one third of the cost of a parking fine.
The court had heard how Ineta Winiarski, aged 33, and Kasimiersz Winiarski, aged 62, a Polish couple living in Hackney, “terrified” wedding guests outside Kehal Yetev Lev Synagogue near Clapton Common in London on 3rd July.
Magistrate Caroline Dillon was told by prosecutor Demi Ugurtay how Mr Winiarski walked over to a driver, David Tangy, who was waiting to transfer the guests from the synagogue, and slammed his door. He then shoved Mr Tangy, whilst Ms Winiarski approached with the couple’s dog and whipped a guest, Ben Herbst, with the dog’s leash and shouted “F***ing Jew”. Ben Herbst’s father, Israel Herbst rushed to protect his son from the attack and was hit by Ms Winiarski in the shoulder. Ms Winiarski shouted antisemitic abuse throughout the incident, including shouting “Kurwa” (a Polish expletive) and reportedly telling the Jewish wedding guests in broken English: “Dog stay here England, you Jews go away.”
Stamford Hill Shomrim, a Jewish neighbourhood watch patrol was called and followed the assailants to Clapton Common where they were arrested on suspicion of common assault and racially aggravated assault.
Ms Winiarski pleaded guilty to three counts of racially aggravated assault. She was handed a 12-week prison sentence, suspended for a year, in respect of each offence, as well as being ordered to participate in a rehabilitation programme lasting no longer than 20 days. She was also ordered to pay £40 to each of her three victims, as well as £230 in victim surcharges to fund victims’ services, and £85 in costs to the Crown Prosecution Service.
Mr Winiarski pleaded guilty to two counts of common assault. He too was handed a 12-week prison sentence, suspended for a year, in respect of each offence, as well as being ordered to participate in a rehabilitation programme lasting no longer than 20 days. He was also ordered to pay £40 to each of his two victims, as well as £115 in victim surcharges to fund victims’ services, and £85 in costs to the Crown Prosecution Service.
Magistrate Caroline Dillon told the couple: “The appropriate sentence is one of 12 weeks in prison, however, because you are of good character it will be suspended for 12 months.”
We commend Stamford Hill Shomrim for their fast response which ensured that the suspects could be arrested and prosecuted.
We are deeply dismayed by this sentence. Antisemitic crime has soared by 45% in the past two years and securing prosecutions is rare enough. For a court to hand down such a derisively lenient sentence, effectively allowing vicious antisemitic assailants to walk free, paying approximately one third the cost of a parking fine to the Jewish people that they punched and whipped in broad daylight, is an affront. This paltry sentence will not deter antisemites, it will embolden them. Our criminal justice system is continuing to send a strong message that antisemites will rarely be charged, rarely be prosecuted, and rarely be properly punished. It is surely because of verdicts like this one that our research shows that a mere 21% of British Jews think that the authorities are doing enough to address and punish antisemitism. We hope that the Crown Prosecution Service will now appeal this outrageous verdict.
Couple convicted of assaulting Jewish wedding guests, sentenced to 12 weeks suspended prison sentence & ordered to pay £40 to their victims pic.twitter.com/v1EwnXhjER
— Shomrim (Stamford Hill) (@Shomrim) September 13, 2017