Police tape
Photograph: Ray Forster

Two teenage boys were convicted at Stratford Youth Court yesterday for a racially aggravated assault on a rabbi, despite pleading not guilty.

The boys, aged 15 and 16, who cannot be named for legal reasons, both received a 12-month Youth Rehabilitation Order.

The incident occurred at approximately 9.45pm on Friday 29 November last year in Amhurst Park, Hackney, where the 54-year-old was assaulted and subjected to anti-Semitic comments by the two teenagers.

The rabbi suffered minor injuries. 

The events came to light the next day when someone unconnected with the incident reported to the police that a man had told them he had been attacked in the same area the previous evening. 

The police were able to locate the victim, who provided them with a full account of the attack.

Following a media appeal by the police and the release of CCTV footage, the two boys were identified by a member of the public.

The attackers subsequently handed themselves in at a police station on the morning of Tuesday 17 December, and were arrested. 

In addition to the 12-month order, the boys have both received an electronically-monitored curfew from 6pm to 6am for the next 30 days. They have also been ordered to pay a £21 victim surcharge each, and must take part in a 10-day Diversity Awareness Programme.

Commenting on the case, Detective Constable Matthew Cooksey, from the Metropolitan Police’s Central East Basic Command Unit, said: “Hate crime is not tolerated and we take such offences extremely seriously. This incident highlights the efforts we are willing to take to track down suspects.

“It is upsetting that the boys refused to take responsibility for their crimes by pleading not guilty. I hope the conviction has given some sort of closure to the victim.”

If you or someone you know is suffering from hate crime, or has suffered hate crime in the past, please contact police on 101. You can also report hate crime through the MPS website.

In an emergency, always dial 999.

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