A British couple who viciously attacked Jewish wedding guests, punching them and whipping them with a dog leash while shouting anti-Semitic abuse, have walked free.
Thames Magistrates’ Court handed Ineta Winiarski and Kasimiersz Winiarski a suspended 12-week prison sentence on September 5, allowing them to walk free after paying a mere £40 to each of their victims — approximately one third of the cost of a parking fine.
The court heard how Ineta Winiarski, age 33, and Kasimiersz Winiarski, age 62, a Polish couple living in Hackney, “terrified” wedding guests outside Kehal Yetev Lev Synagogue near Clapton Common in London on July 3 this summer.
Magistrate Caroline Dillon was told by prosecutor Demi Ugurtay how Mr. Winiarski walked over to a driver, David Tangy, who was waiting to transfer the guests from the synagogue, and slammed his door. He then shoved the driver, while his wife approached with the couple’s dog and whipped a guest, Ben Herbst, with the dog’s leash and shouted “F***ing Jew”.
Ben Herbst’s father, Israel Herbst, rushed to protect his son from the attack and was hit by Ineta Winiarski in the shoulder, as she shouted anti-Semitic abuse throughout the incident, including shouting “Kurwa” (a Polish expletive) and reportedly telling the Jewish wedding guests in broken English: “Dog stay here England, you Jews go away.”
According to the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism, Jewish neighborhood watch patrol Stamford Hill Shomrim was immediately called, and followed the assailants to Clapton Common, where they were arrested on suspicion of common assault and racially aggravated public order offenses.
Ineta Winiarski pleaded guilty to three counts of racially aggravated assault. She was handed a 12-week prison sentence, suspended for a year, for each offense, and was ordered to participate in a rehabilitation program lasting no longer than 20 days. She was also ordered to pay £40 to each of her three victims, as well as £230 in victim surcharges to fund victims’ services, in addition to £85 in costs to the Crown Prosecution Service.
Kasimiersz Winiarski pleaded guilty to two counts of common assault. He too was handed a 12-week prison sentence, suspended for a year, for each offense, and was ordered to participate in a rehabilitation program lasting no longer than 20 days. In addition, he was also ordered to pay £40 to each of his two victims, as well as £115 in victim surcharges to fund victims’ services, and £85 in costs to the Crown Prosecution Service.
“We commend Stamford Hill Shomrim for their fast response which ensured that the suspects could be arrested and prosecuted,” said Stephen Silverman, Director of Investigations and Enforcement at the Campaign Against Antisemitism in a statement sent to media.
But, he added, “We are deeply dismayed by this sentence. Anti-Semitic crime has soared by 45 percent in the past two years and securing prosecutions is rare enough. For a court to hand down such a derisively lenient sentence, effectively allowing vicious anti-Semitic assailants to walk free, paying approximately one-third the cost of a parking fine to the Jewish people that they punched and whipped in broad daylight, is an affront.
“This paltry sentence will not deter anti-Semites; it will embolden them,” he continued.
“Our criminal justice system is continuing to send a strong message that anti-Semites will rarely be charged, rarely be prosecuted, and rarely be properly punished. It is surely because of verdicts like this one that our research shows that a mere 21 percent of British Jews think that the authorities are doing enough to address and punish anti-Semitism. We hope that the Crown Prosecution Service will now appeal this outrageous verdict.”