A man who hurled anti-Semitic abuse at Jewish people on their way to synagogue has avoided a prison sentence.
Glenn Okafor confronted members of the Jewish community in Stamford Hill, east London on March 4, shouting ‘f*** you Jewish people’ and told the group ‘you lot should go back to your own country’.
The 32-year-old also told worshippers: ‘We will sort you out. I have friends. I’ll be back tomorrow. We will wipe you out.’
Okafor, of West Norwood, south London, was found guilty of two counts of racially or religiously aggravated harassment and two counts of using threatening or abusive behaviour to cause alarm or distress after a trial at Stratford Magistrates’ Court.
The father-of-two, who works at a logistics company, avoided a jail term today.
Glenn Okafor has avoided a jail term for screaming anti-Semitic abuse at Jewish people as they made their way to synagogue in east London
Instead, he was ordered to do 200 hours unpaid community work and pay a total of £920 in costs and compensation.
Hershel Stroh had told Okafor’s trial that he saw a black man surrounded by around 20 people who was ‘shouting, screaming’ and making comments including ‘f*** the Jewish people’.
Mr Stroh, who was on his way to synagogue, followed the defendant and another man up Stamford Hill, along with other members of the community and security guards, while police were called.
Mr Stroh, who works in property management, said: ‘He just wanted to cause terror and scare people and he was ready to attack people. If it was not for us and the security he would have attacked someone.’
He added: ‘I was very, very scared for myself and the whole community.’
Alexander Gluck, who was also walking to synagogue, said he heard the commotion and was approached by Okafor, who made ‘some really aggressive’ comments.
He said the defendant told him ‘we are the real Jews’ and threatened ‘I’ll wipe you out’.
Okafor’s defence claimed he had been engaging members of the community in a ‘theological debate’ and had not made racist comments.
Giving evidence during his trial, Okafor told the court: ‘I approached a Jewish man or a man of the Jewish community just to ask them a few questions about the origin of Judaism as it’s something I have been looking into.’
He said two other Jewish people interrupted, angry at the conversation taking place, causing the interaction to become ‘heated’.