A man who was convicted of religiously-aggravated harassment after sending Alan Sugar a series of abusive and antisemitic letters was handed a jail sentence of three years and six months at Chelmsford Crown Court yesterday.
Patrick Gomes, 70, sent three letters to one of Lord Sugar’s business premises in Loughton between October and December 2018, according to Essex Police.
Each letter was addressed to Lord Sugar and reportedly included abusive, threatening and offensive language that was also derogatory towards the Jewish faith. One of the letters read: “I would like to murder all Jews in Britain, Alan.”
Mr Gomes was arrested at his home in Leyton in March 2019, after his DNA and fingerprints were found on one of the letters. Police found additional discriminatory letters, and discovered that the address of the letters to Lord Sugar was in Mr Gomes’ address book.
Mr Gomes denied involvement but was found guilty of religiously-aggravated harassment, putting those targeted in fear of violence, on 1st December at Chelmsford Crown Court.
Lord Sugar, the former host of The Apprentice television show, was originally reluctant to refer the matter to the police, but thanks officers for “helping to shine a light on the fact that this type of behaviour is simply not acceptable.” Lord Sugar said that, following the incident, he is “now always looking over my shoulder.”
Mr Gomes has also been handed an indefinite restraining order not to contact Lord Sugar.
A spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “Lord Sugar was right to refer this matter to the police. There must be zero tolerance for antisemitic crime, but that can only happen when victims report incidents. If racism against Jews is allowed to fester, the number of victims will only grow. We commend the police for pursuing the matter, and believe that this sentence sends a strong message that such grotesque conduct will not be tolerated.”
Campaign Against Antisemitism’s analysis of Home Office statistics shows that an average of over three hate crimes are directed at Jews every single day in England and Wales, with Jews more than four times likelier to be targets of hate crimes than any other faith group.
Image credit: Essex Police