The Hon. Piers Portman, the youngest living son of the 9th Viscount Portman and heir to 110 acres of West End real estate, has today been sentenced to four months in prison and ordered to pay over £20,000 after being found guilty last month of calling Gideon Falter, Campaign Against Antisemitism’s Chief Executive, “Jewish scum” in a confrontation at a courthouse in 2018.
Passing sentence at Southwark Crown Court, His Honour Judge Gregory Perrins said that Mr Portman has “strongly-held antisemitic beliefs”, and that he had “deliberately targeted Mr Falter because of his role in prosecuting Alison Chabloz.” Ms Chabloz is an antisemite who has been repeatedly imprisoned following work by Campaign Against Antisemitism.
In scathing sentencing remarks, HHJ Perrins told Mr Portman: “You said you’re an honourable British gentleman. You’re anything but.”
HHJ Perrins then imprisoned him for four months, with the possibility of release on licence after two months, and ordered him to pay a £10,000 fine, make an additional £10,000 compensatory payment to the victim, Mr Falter, and pay court costs. Mr Falter is donating the entire £10,000 to Campaign Against Antisemitism.
Mr Portman, 50, was prosecuted after approaching Mr Falter, Campaign Against Antisemitism’s Chief Executive, at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on 14th June 2018 following the sentencing of Alison Chabloz, a notorious Holocaust denier and antisemite. Campaign Against Antisemitism had brought a private prosecution against Ms Chabloz which the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) took over, and which ultimately led to a conviction and landmark legal precedent. Mr Falter had testified against Ms Chabloz, who has since been repeatedly sent to prison over her antisemitic statements, including denying the Holocaust and claiming that Holocaust survivors had invented their suffering for financial gain.
Mr Portman followed Mr Falter out of the courtroom and confronted him in the lobby of the court building, where an enraged Mr Portman came close to Mr Falter and said: “I’m Piers Portman. I have written to you before. Come after me, you Jewish scum. Come and persecute me. Come and get me.”
Mr Portman was referring to a 1,527-word e-mailed screed previously sent to Campaign Against Antisemitism in which he denounced his former wife and her divorce lawyer, Baroness Fiona Shackleton each as a “greedy, grasping and lying manipulator of the system that happens to be Jewish.” He accused his former wife of “playing the Talmud inspired ‘Tyrant posing as a victim.’” Noting in the e-mail that he had a “Harrow Public School education”, Mr Portman defended the term “Holohoax”, writing that “I fail to see how the fabricated word has anything to do with hating anyone. Surely it is merely an expression created by people that believe they have been lied to,” and questioning how the terms “Jew” and “Jewboy” could be antisemitic.
He concluded his e-mail by taunting Campaign Against Antisemitism to “Come and pick on me…come and have a do with me…come and perform your charity on me.”
Gideon Falter, Chief Executive of Campaign Against Antisemitism, said: “I am extremely reassured by this sentence, which sends a very clear message to antisemites that even the wealthiest and most privileged cannot escape British justice. I have been awarded £10,000 in compensation which I am donating to Campaign Against Antisemitism to help us ensure that anti-Jewish racists like Mr Portman face the consequences of their actions.”
Campaign Against Antisemitism wishes again to thank the Community Security Trust (CST) for providing specialist protection officers to keep our personnel safe at the trial.
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: Piers Portman, right, leaves Southwark Crown Court with conspiracy theorist Matthew Delooze