An elderly man from Burgess Hill has been convicted of anti-Semitic hate crime, police have said.
Paul Pawlowski, 90, retired, of London Road, Burgess Hill, pleaded not guilty to racially/religiously aggravated harassment, alarm or distress when he appeared at Brighton Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday (August 8), said police.
Police said Pawlowski had displayed anti-Semitic language on leaflets and a placard at the Old Steine, in Brighton on Sunday, May 28.
He stated that if the police took his placard and leaflets he would walk up and down North Street and shout his views, which included other anti-Semitic messages.
He was fined £100, which was increased to £150 because of the anti-Semitic nature, as well as having to pay costs of £100 and a victim surcharge of £85.
Sussex Police hate crime sergeant, Peter Allan said: “I am pleased the court convicted the defendant in this case. People have a right to free speech, but hate speech will not be tolerated.
“If hate speech is not challenged appropriately, it can lead to communities feeling a sense of unease and can send a message to perpetrators that such behaviour is acceptable.
“This sentence sends out a clear signal that we will take a robust approach to those who target individuals based on their disability, gender identity, race, religion or sexual orientation. I hope this case will encourage other victims of hate to report such behaviour to the police.
“We will record all such incidents and take them seriously. We will investigate any allegations, irrespective of the age or any other demographic of those involved.
“Hate crime can be reported online, by calling 101 or in an emergency 999.”
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