September 16 2014 Latest news:
by Tim Lamden
Thursday, May 22, 2014
A restaurant worker who performed a Nazi salute and shouted “Heil Hitler” outside a kosher restaurant where diners were marking Holocaust Remembrance Day has been banned from entering NW11 for a year.
"You were marching in a quasi-military fashion, you made a highly inflammatory gesture and you hurt Mr Tangi. Quite frankly, it’s outrageous."
Slovakian native Miroslav Ondrus, 33, marched up to three men outside the White House Express, in Golders Green Road, Golders Green, and performed the offensive gesture.
He also admitted picking up restaurant manager Solomon Tangi and shaking him violently, causing pain to his wrist.
District judge Mark Jabbitt sentenced Ondrus, of Leopold Road, Wimbledon, to 180 hours of community service as well as the postcode ban.
He said: “What you did was profoundly insulting and threatening. You were marching in a quasi-military fashion, you made a highly inflammatory gesture and you hurt Mr Tangi. Quite frankly, it’s outrageous.
“You came here to work – there is nothing wrong with that – but if you come here you must abide by our rules and our laws.”
Balbir Suri, prosecuting, told the court the incident, at about midnight on April 29, was a “group act against targeted individuals”.
She said two of the victims, Neville Kesselman and Gary Ost, were in the restaurant’s outdoor dining area, where they had been commemorating Yom HaShoah [Holocaust Remembrance Day], with Mr Tangi when they were harassed.
The court heard how the defendant, who had been drinking in the area, was pursued by volunteers from the Shomrim community security force and was arrested by police officers.
Tina Patel, representing Ondrus, said he “could not be more apologetic” and was so drunk at the time he “can’t remember anything”.
She said: “He’s not a racist and he can’t explain why he did or said what he did.”
Ondrus admitted two charges of racially or religiously aggravated harassment and a charge of assault by beating at Hendon Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday of last week.
The judge ordered Ondrus to pay £85 in prosecution costs and a £60 victim surcharge, but stopped short of ordering him to pay compensation to the victims.
He said: “Mr Kesselman, the person to whom you directed your taunts, was disgusted and angry, particularly considering the date they were commemorating.
“Mr Ost – who was absolutely disgusted – said he couldn’t believe that he was seeing such behaviour in this day and age in England.
“Mr Tangi, the restaurateur who was hurt by you picking him up, was also very upset.
“I don’t think they would want any compensation from you. I shouldn’t think they want anything to do with you.”
Ondrus’s friend Jozef Dubos, 41, of Caulfield Road, East Ham, appeared beside him in the dock and denied two charges of racially or religiously aggravated harassment.
He will face trial at Willesden Magistrates’ Court on August 26.