Man jailed for hate crime in Chigwell

“Essex Police will not tolerate hate crimes and if you commit them, you can expect to be arrested, charged and put before the courts.”

That’s the message from Supt Naomi Edwards, who leads the response to hate crime.

It comes as a man was jailed for three years and seven months after launching an assault on a rabbi outside his synagogue in Chigwell.

Rabbi Goodwin, 32, was assaulted outside the Chigwell & Hainault United Synagogue in Limes Avenue where he had worked for more than five years.

The incident took place at about 1pm on May 16, 2021 when a man walked into the road from behind a parked van, causing Rabbi Goodwin to brake suddenly.

He was then verbally abused with his Jewish faith referenced. He was also spat on.

As he then tried to drive away, he came to a stop at Fencepiece Road.

While there, his wing mirror on the passenger side was kicked off and the door was damaged.

When he got out to chase those responsible – taking photos to provide officers – he was assaulted, and his mobile phone was taken.

He needed medical attention and had seven stitches while also suffering swelling to his face around his right eye.

Rabbi Goodwin said the officers who dealt with him and his family were “excellent” and that he was offered a range of support services by the police and the Community Safety Trust.

He also praised officers’ response times, with a team on the scene “straight away”.

Loughton CID investigated the attack and Souraka Djabouri, then 18, of Tudor Crescent, Ilford, was arrested the following day.

He appeared for trial on Wednesday July 6 at Chelmsford Crown Court, but before it began, Djabouri, now 19, admitted GBH, theft, and religiously aggravated criminal damage.

On Thursday August 4, he was sentenced to three years and seven months in prison.

Supt Edward said: “Hate crime is a priority for Essex Police and, very simply, will not be tolerated.

“We work very closely with other Essex partners to tackle hatred committed anywhere across the county, and we work closely with the CPS to make sure that hate crime offenders are brought to justice.

“We recognise the problems that hate crime causes and how it can escalate. We know the impact it can have on individuals, families and communities.

“We’re tackling problems at every level and learning every day about how to deal more effectively with hate crime, and we’re becoming more effective at working with the Crown Prosecution Service to get better outcomes for the victims.”

A hate crime is defined as any incident which is perceived by the victim, or any other person, to be motivated by hostility or prejudice, based on a personal characteristic – this can be disability, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation or gender identity.

Supt Edwards added: “We want people to come forward and let us deal with the people that are perpetrating crimes against them. It’s wrong and needs to be challenged. That information will allow us to identify themes and take targeted action.

“Essex Police will not tolerate hate crimes and if you commit them, you can expect to be arrested, charged and put before the courts.”

Det Supt Jon Burgess said: “Djabouri’s despicable behaviour in May last year was entirely unprovoked. He thought nothing of assaulting Rabbi Goodwin and abusing him because of his faith.

“His actions were not only illegal, but they are abusive and insulting; this was a hate crime and it was treated as such from a very early stage.

“I’m glad that the case the team at Loughton CID was able to build against Djabouri meant that he had very little option but to admit the offences and accept the sentence handed to him.

“That has meant that Rabbi Goodwin has not had to sit through a trial and recount his experiences. I hope, because of that, he has been able to move forward with his life and his work, knowing that the man responsible for his assault is being suitably punished.”

If you are a victim of hate crime, you can report it online, by dialling 101 or 999 if it’s an emergency.

You can also report it at any police station or by visiting one of the 14 hate crime reporting centres in the county.

Find out more here:


Mick Ferris

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