Daren Thomas, of Westcliffe-on-Sea, has been convicted of religiously-aggravated harassment for a campaign of abuse in which he threatened his Jewish landlord, his wife and his children.
Thomas had allegedly failed to pay towards the maintenance of the house in which he had a flat, or to allow access, leading the building to become dilapidated. When his Jewish landlord tried to ensure that repairs were made, Thomas bombarded him with antisemitic threats.
The threats, made between July and August last year, included one message which said: “I’ve never been prejudice against anything [victim’s name]. Maybe Hitler felt the same at first, and maybe the actions of the Jewish aristocracy in Vienna in the thirties acted like you. Maybe those actions changed Hitler’ opinion” whilst another menacingly read: “Have you seen inglorious barstard’ [victim’s name]? The swastika on the forehead is a nice touch! Nazi jew boy!” Despite the victim remaining completely professional in the exchanges, Thomas repeatedly sent him retorts such as: “I plan a nostalgic trip! Everything taken, packed off to camp!” He also made explicit threats multiple times, warning: “You won’t make it back to your car hidden in the car park. Are we crystal?” Thomas also made multiple mentions of the victim’s family, including: “I’m going to find your home retard. I know your married, and God, I hope you have kids!! I want them to see you on your f***ing knees!”
In a court order, it was found that Thomas “sent the victim numerous e-mails of an offensive nature displaying statements relating to Nazis and Jews which the victim has taken as racially offensive, and displayed a written sign from your premises window for the victim to see, threatening to burn him, this ammounting to a course of conduct and causing the victim to feel harassed, alarmed and distressed, and the offence was religiously aggravated.”
Thomas was handed a 16-week custodial sentence suspended for 12 months conditional on his undertaking a behavioural training course. A restraining order was also put in place directing that he should not attempt to make contact with the victim in any form whatsoever and he was also ordered to pay a £300 victim surcharge.
The victim approached Campaign Against Antisemitism for assistance and our Crime Unit provided specialist advice. The victim told us: “This is clearly a very good result and would not have been possible without the guidance you provided through the process and your support in preparing the evidence.” We strongly commend the victim for standing up to these antisemitic threats by resolutely pursuing justice. However we are disappointed that the court has not imposed a sentence that better reflects the persistence with which Thomas repeatedly made the most severe antisemitic threats possible.
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