Poster dauber says his aim 'political'

September 15, 2011
Sugar: daubed at Chalk Farm tube

Sugar: daubed at Chalk Farm tube

An Egyptian man who daubed antisemitic graffiti on posters advertising the work of Lord Sugar and Steven Spielberg has been cleared of having a racially or religiously aggravated motive.

Yacoub Osman, 53, chose Chalk Farm Tube station, used by a large number of Jewish Londoners, for his month-long spree of scrawling anti-Israel slogans and a Nazi swastika, Blackfriars Crown Court was told last week.

Osman used a black felttip pen to draw a cross on the forehead of Lord Sugar, on a promotional poster for his autobiography What You See Is What You Get.

The daubing began on November 13 last year and went on until December 9 in what the prosecution called "a one-man campaign against the Jews". Roger Daniells-Smith, prosecuting, said: "The theme is antisemitic. He just says: 'f--k Israel, boycott Israel.'"He draws the star of David, writes the equals sign and draws a swastika."

On November 27, the prosecution said, Osman made things "a little more personal.

"This defendant graffiti-ed across the forehead of Lord Sugar as a child, with a cross, in effect making him a marked man.

"Chalk Farm is on the Northern Line and in Golders Green, Hampstead, and all around that area there is a huge Jewish community. That is the route they would take backwards and forwards to London.

"They use this platform and would see - and we say were meant to see - offensive graffiti.

"Another poster that was defaced was for a film made by Steven Spielberg, the famous Jewish film director. So we say his motive was racist."

Since Osman lived in Ladbroke Grove, he had no cause to go through Chalk Farm, the prosecution said. "He has deliberately targeted this station as a station through which a significant number of Jews would go."

Osman, who is a convicted sex attacker, later admitted criminal damage, but insisted that his actions were politically motivated and not racist. He denied seven counts of racially aggravated criminal damage

Sentencing was adjourned until 3rd October.

Last updated: 1:42pm, September 15 2011