A 19-year-old man who threatened three strictly Orthodox men in a racially motivated incident has been fined £730.
Liam Curtis Smith pleaded guilty to "racially or religiously aggravated fear or provocation of violence" at Blaydon Magistrates' Court in Gateshead last Friday. He was originally charged with the lesser offence of "racially aggravated harassment", but the court convicted him of the more serious charge upon hearing the case.
The three victims, Moshe Rothstein, 23, Zalmy Fleischer, 22, and Mottie Haber, 18, all from Manchester, were in Gateshead visiting friends on May 25. The incident occurred when Smith approached the young men at a service station on the A1.
Afterwards, one victim followed Smith's movements and alerted police. Mr Rothstein said it was important for the Jewish community to report any incident. "Racial abuse is a terrible offence. The guy will think twice about doing it again."