A teenager who set a Jewish passenger’s hair on fire while using racist epithets has been sentenced by Highbury Corner Youth Court.
The incident took place shortly before 19:00 on 26th March 2018 on the number 210 bus, when the teenager and another male sat in front of and behind the victim, who was working no a laptop.
The teenager, who was fourteen at the time and cannot be named for legal reasons, asked the victim: “are you a P**i or a Jew?” He then proceeded to singe the victim’s hair and, when confronted by the victim, said: “Are you Jewish? You can’t be Jewish because you don’t have horns. Do Jews keep money under their caps?”
The teenager also threatened to beat up the victim and smash his computer.
Appearing at Highbury Corner Youth Court on 16th January 2020 after pleading guilty to racially and religiously aggravated common assault, the teenager was sentenced to a four-month youth rehabilitation order and ordered to write a letter of apology to the victim and pay him £100 in compensation. The fourth month of rehabilitation was due to the racist nature of the attack.
The teenager was given an activity requirement of eight hours and one-to-one behavioural sessions with educational staff to combat racial discrimination.
Speaking in the court, the teenager reportedly expressed remorse for the attack, saying he had changed and grown as a person since the incident. He noted that he had now moved house and made new friends, and that he was focused on his GCSEs with a view to going on to higher education.
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 almost four times more likely to be targets of hate crime than any other faith group.