A peaceful December Friday night in north-west London was disrupted when raw eggs and insults were hurled at groups of Jews walking along Golders Green Road, a court has heard.
In what magistrate Philip Sethil described as a “crazy” act, four students were found guilty of carrying out the attacks and were fined £415 each, some of which will be paid in compensation to their victims.
In the dock at Willesden Magistrates Court were Mohammed Khalfia and Mohammed Jawad, both from Wembley, Haider Al-Fardan from Kingsbury and Aimen Mohamed from Colindale.
Each was convicted of using religiously aggravated and insulting words likely to cause alarm or distress. All four admitted they had bought raw eggs and went on a spree hurling them at passers by in Golders Green, Colindale, Edgware and Hendon.
They denied that they had specifically targeted Jews.
The court heard from two Jewish women and a 14-year-old boy who said they had been targeted and that the accused had shouted “Oi, Jews,” and “f***ing Jews” as they hurled the eggs.
The teenage boy, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, said he had just left a synagogue with friends when he heard loud shouting and four eggs were thrown at him and his friends from a car. “I ducked so they missed,” he said.
Speaking from behind a screen, he told the court that the people in the car had also shouted racist abuse.
When interviewed by police, driver Khalfia told officers he was sorry for what had happened — because “it was a waste of eggs”.
Another victim, Katrina Lester, said that, on the same night, she was walking home with three friends when a car slowed down beside them. “One passenger shouted something — definitely including the word ‘Jew’. Something hit my waist. Then the car drove off. I felt really angry.”
Debora Sherman was also walking along Golders Green Road with three friends when she noticed a car passing by.
“One of the windows was down and someone was shouting something about Jews” she said. “I saw broken eggs on the ground. I was startled and angry.”
The accused all denied aiming at Jews and claimed they threw the eggs “at random.” Al-Fardan told the court that his maternal grandmother was Jewish. “I certainly don’t target Jewish people… I feel embarrassed that I have done such a thing.”