Man jailed for appalling Islamophobic attack on pensioner
Categories: Latest News
Friday November 06 2015
The Daily Mail, BBC News, The Guardian and the Crown Prosecution Service all report on the sentencing of a man who subjected an elderly Muslim male to a vicious tirade of Islamophobic abuse that only ended when he threw the pensioner’s walking frame off the bus and onto the road.
Kashif Samuels, 25, was sentenced to 16 weeks in jail at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court yesterday and ordered to pay £320 in court costs after video footage, uploaded onto YouTube, showed him engage in a shocking Islamophobic incident on 15 October 2015. The footage, which was also shared on social media prompted a petition signed by over 30,000 people calling on Transport for London to “stop hate crime” on the capital’s public transport network.
In the video clip, Mr Samuels is shown shouting at an elderly Muslim man telling him to “go back to your own country” adding “’I’ll put a pig’s c*** in your mouth – what’s Allah going to say about that?”. He also called his victim a “w***er”, and accused him of coming to Britain for “free benefits”.
After the elderly man replies back in Turkish, Mr Samuels can be heard shouting: “You’re talking in a different language but nobody knows what you’re saying. Go back to Turkey if you talk that s***. Oh no you can’t because s*** gets blown up in Turkey. That’s why you’re here mate – free benefits and a walker. Well your walker is going to go flying when this bus stops mate.”
The video footage ends with Samuels telling stunned passengers to “vote Ukip” before grabbing the pensioner’s Zimmer frame and throwing it off the bus.
Mr Samuels was arrested and charged on suspicion of a racially aggravated public order offence, with the Metropolitan Police Service reporting that he subsequently apologised for his shocking behaviour and pleaded guilty to the charge in court.
Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court were told Mr Samuels committed the offence while on bail for a similar public order offence, which was not racially motivated, involving a bus driver in January 2015.
Prosecutor Michael Mallon said: “Having referred to the footage it speaks for itself. The victim was not able to be traced. It is clear however, and he accepted in interview, that the victim was vulnerable. He was an elderly Turkish gentleman. There are a number of aggravating features to this matter. Namely that Mr Samuels was there with his two-year old daughter in a pram. This was committed while he was on bail for the first matter. There are a large number of other individuals on the bus. It is telling, in my submission, they didn’t intervene given the amount of aggression, there was a very real fear they could come to harm.”
During the trial Mr Samuels said many of his Muslim friends were horrified by what he had done and called him up to complain about his “monstrous and disgusting” behaviour. He added: “I can only stand up and apologise for my own actions. I want to apologise to everyone who was affected. I genuinely mean that from the bottom of my heart.”
Gerallt Evans, deputy chief crown prosecutor for CPS London, said: “This case has quite rightly caused shock and outrage among the general public. Kashif Samuels used abusive anti-Muslim and racist language against the victim and caused distress and alarm to the other passengers on the bus. Not only did he shout and swear at the victim but also threw the victim’s walking frame from the bus when it came to a halt. This appalling outburst was caught on camera by a public-spirited fellow passenger and left Samuels no choice but to plead guilty.”
He added: “Hate crime of any kind will not be tolerated in London. Members of the public should be able to travel on the city’s transport network without fear of violence, abuse or harassment and we will continue to work with our police partners to bring those that commit these crimes to justice.”
Two months ago, the Metropolitan Police Service revealed a 70% increase in Islamophobic and anti-Muslim hate crime in London between July 2014 and July 2015. The police service recorded 816 Islamophobic crimes in the year to July 2015, compared with 478 for the previous 12-month period. Hate crimes targeting Muslims ranged from cyber-bullying and assaults to extreme violence, such as attempted murder and grievous bodily harm. Last month, official figures published by the Home Office also revealed a sharp increase in religious hate crimes in the UK between 2012/13 – 2013/14 and 2013/14 – 2014/15 showing a 45% and 43% increase year on year, respectively.