Kamil Malmon, a Polish man, has been sentenced to 26 weeks in prison after damaging Pinner Synagogue with antisemitic graffiti.
Malmon wrote “f*ck the Juda!!!” on the Synagogue in June, and was captured on CCTV. The CCTV was installed by a Jewish charity, the Community Security Trust, which has been fortifying Jewish community buildings in response to a surge in antisemitic hate crime.
Malmon was identified by the Synagogue’s caretaker.
Malmon appeared at Willesden Magistrate Court on August 12 and pleaded guilty through a Polish interpreter. The court watched the CCTV footage and listened to statements from the caretaker, a representative of the Synagogue, and from several police who attended when the crime was reported, as well as a recording of Malmon’s police statement.
Malmon claimed that he did not do the graffiti, but said that he thinks Jewish people separate themselves from others and only look after themselves, yet denied having a particular problem with Jews.
The Magistrate also ordered Malmon to pay costs, and stated that if the offence was not a racially or religiously motivated one, then it would only warrant a fine, but due to the motivation necessitated a jail sentence.
A representative from Pinner Synagogue reacted:
“Whilst this was the first incident of its type experienced by the Synagogue since its establishment 75 years ago, and perhaps associated with the current trend of increasing antisemitism, it was nevertheless shocking and unacceptable. This incident was painfully reminiscent of the 1930s as tragically experienced by the parents of many of the members of the Synagogue. There is no place for antisemitism in Society today. Our thanks therefore to the local police for pursuing this hate crime to a successful conclusion and to the CST for the funding of the CCTV which was absolutely central to the identification of the offender.”
The Community Security Trust also responded to the incident, saying:
“CST welcomes this conviction and sentence, and hope it shows that antisemitic incidents, including graffiti, will not be tolerated and will be dealt with by the Justice system. CST wishes to thank the Metropolitan Police and the Crown Prosecution Service for their swift action on this case“.
This incident comes amidst a flurry in antisemitic graffiti that has been recorded in London and the surrounding areas in recent months.