Westminster man convicted of a hate crime after verbally abusing chief executive of antisemitism group

A Westminster man has been convicted of a hate crime after racially abusing an antisemitism activist.

Piers Portman, 50, from Marylebone, called the Campaign Against Antisemitism’s chief executive “Jewish scum” at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on June 14,  2018.

Portman and the victim were at the court for the sentencing of Alison Chabloz who had written and performed antisemitic songs mocking the Holocaust on YouTube. 

The victim had attended as part of his role in the Campaign Against Antisemitism and Portman had attended in support of Chabloz.

Outside the hearing Portman approached the victim, who did not know or recognise him, before aggressively verbally abusing him.

Today (September 7), Portman was convicted of one count of racially aggravated intentional harassment, alarm or distress following a trial at Southwark Crown Court.

Sati Dhadda, from the CPS, said: “Antisemitism has no place in our society and will not be tolerated. 

“Piers Portman’s conduct was disgraceful and utterly audacious in a courthouse. No-one should be subjected to such abuse based on their race or religion.

During the trial the prosecution was able to present evidence from a previous email sent from Portman to the victim, which clearly demonstrated his hostility towards Jews. 

“The victim also supported the prosecution and attended court to give evidence. He told jurors he had never encountered Portman before the incident and had been left shocked by it.

“I hope this conviction gives other victims of hate crime the courage to come forward in the knowledge that they will be supported through the criminal justice system.”

Crimes that are motivated wholly or partly by hostility or demonstrate hostility towards the victim of the offence based on that person’s presumed race, religion, sexual orientation, transgender identity or disability are eligible for an increased sentence.

The CPS will be applying for a hate crime sentence uplift in this case. 

Portman will be sentenced at Southwark Crown Court on October 22, 2021. 

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