A gang of teenagers have pleaded guilty to racially aggravated assault after they decided to go “Jew-bashing” during last summer’s Gaza conflict.
Balawal Sultan, Kesa Malik, Hassnain Aliamin, and a 16-year-old planned to target a member of the Orthodox Jewish population in Gateshead, a court heard.
The night before the attack Sultan sent a text message saying: “I’m going to go Jew bashing. Haha”.
On July 18 the group drove to a Jewish area of Gateshead and attacked a 41 year old man as he walked home to his family.
In a statement to Newcastle Crown Court the victim said: “I feel shaken and unsafe to walk the streets in my own community.
“I have never experienced fear and terror like it and I have no doubt I was attacked for being Jewish."
Prosecutor Bridie Smurthwaite said: “The defendants had deliberately travelled to the area in Gateshead where there were members of the Jewish community with the particular intention of targeting someone from that community.
“The Crown say the victim was targeted because he was wearing traditional Jewish attire, a black suit and white shirt and a black hat.
When police caught up with the attackers they claimed they were just looking for a new mosque in the area.
Sultan said when they saw the victim they chased him and threw a stick at him as a “protest about the Palestinians and about the Jewish community” but denied making any contact with him.
Sultan, 18, Malik, 19, Aliamin, 18, all of Newcastle, and the fourth teenager who is now 17 all admitted racially aggravated common assault.
They will be sentenced on January 27