An abuser who launched an antisemitic attack on a Jewish family, calling them “dirty Jews”, has been found guilty of racially aggravated assault and use of an antisemitic slur.
Adam Cassidy, 20, was filmed kicking an advertising board towards the family as they sat outside a Costa Coffee in St Albans. He also pushed their infant's pram “aggressively” while the child was inside.
Mr Cassidy had pleaded not guilty to racially aggravated assault and to using the slur when he appeared at St Albans Magistrates’ Court in December. However, District Judge Margeret Dodd found Cassidy guilty of both charges.
Mr Cassidy claimed the group called him a “dirty Arab” first – which was not caught on camera – and that he was retaliating in kind, but his defence was rejected by magistrates.
But Judge Margaret Dodd told Mr Cassidy: “I don’t accept your evidence. I don’t accept that anybody called you anything.
“Whether it was an accident when you bumped into the buggy I don’t know. That doesn't excuse what you did and doesn't excuse your response.
“There are plenty of words you could have used if you just wanted to be rude; this was motivated by a racial motive.
“It was obvious that they were Jewish because of their skull caps and for that reason you said ‘dirty Jew’ three times.”
Ali Hussain, who defended Mr Cassidy, said his client had “never disputed using those words and has been entirely consistent throughout about the reason he has said what he said.
He added: “It’s unfortunate that a little bit more wasn’t caught on the video as that would have clarified the situation.”
Family member Michael Mendelsohn, who filmed Mr Cassidy’s tirade, told the JC that Mr Cassidy’s behaviour “was driven purely by racial hatred. He should have pleaded guilty from the outset. Instead he tried to excuse his behaviour with desperate lies which the judge saw straight through.
“I can only hope that the sentence reflects the seriousness of the crime and acts as a deterrent to other would-be offenders.”
Mr Cassidy was ordered to return to the court next month to receive his sentence.