Teenage football fan admits abusing Jew after Euro 2020 game
The 17-year-old, who was holding a can of lager, shouted “I hate Jews” at the man as he took the escalator to the platforms of Oxford Circus underground station.
A clip of the incident just after midnight on July 4 sparked outrage after it was widely disseminated on social media and UK Transport Police appealed for information leading to an arrest.
The accused finally surrendered to the police on July 11 and was charged with public order aggravated by racist motives on July 23.
We have fought a world war against this kind of racial discrimination, horrible things have been done and this kind of thing leaves scars in people’s memories.
At a hearing at Highbury Corner Youth Court on Monday, he admitted the offense, but insisted he had no hatred towards the Jewish people.
Prosecutor Valerie Benjamin told the court that the victim, who was only named Yosuf, was wearing “distinctive Jewish attire,” including a skullcap.
She said the victim, a graduate student, started filming when he learned that the accused and his group of friends were staring at him.
Ms Benjamin said: “The accused said ‘I hate Jews’ when he knocked on the side of the escalator.”
The 17-year-old is also said to have shouted “take off your hat”, although he denied making such a comment.
Two members of the public came to the victim’s aid, the court heard, as the accused left the station by train.
The incident was the second time the man had been the victim of racist abuse that evening, after being threatened by a man on a bus as he made his way to the metro station.
Ms Benjamin said the victim was now too anxious to use public transport and incurred significant expenses in a taxi when he was unable to walk to a destination.
You give a bad reputation to the beautiful game
In his interview with the police, the accused said he had been in Leicester Square to watch the game and made the comments because he thought “it could have been funny at the time”.
He added: “I now know that was stupid and offensive.”
Mohammed Zeb, on behalf of the accused, told the court that the teenager had shown remorse for his actions and had “done the right thing” by reporting to the police.
Mr Zeb said he “made a stupid comment for no reason.”
He continued, “He said to me ‘I have no problem with anybody, I am not in religion, it was the spur of the moment’.”
When questioned by District Judge Susan Williams, the accused – a fan of Millwall – said that during the evening different groups of fans sang different chants, including those associated with Tottenham Hotspur.
“I didn’t really think about it (the comment), it just came out, and I just went and ran,” he said.
He said it must have been scary for the victim, adding: “Especially since he was alone – I think I would have been scared as well.”
Judge Williams said: “There is nothing wrong with a little friendly rivalry, but we have fought a world war against this kind of racial discrimination, horrible things have been done and this kind of thing leaves scars. in people’s memory.
You have to make a serious decision about how you are going with your life
“You don’t know if (the victim) lost a grandfather or a father or half of his family in a concentration camp because of who he is.”
She continued, “It’s the kind of memories you wake up when you attack him about who he is.”
“You give the good game a bad reputation,” she added.
The court heard that the defendant had already been convicted of theft and driving misdemeanor.
Judge Williams said: “You have to make a serious decision about how you are going in life – are you mindful of your manners, mindful of your mouth, and mindful of the way you drive? “
She advised him to stop drinking, saying, “Either cut it or cut it, or you’ll find yourself in serious trouble.”
The 17-year-old will be sentenced on September 3 to allow the preparation of a pre-sentence report.
He was released on bail on the condition that he did not attend or loiter outside a stadium where Millwall or England are playing, and not to attend or hang out outside Wembley Stadium , regardless of the event that takes place inside.