The leader of the UK arm of the Jewish Defence League has been found guilty of assaulting two people at a pro-Palestinian event in Haringey, writes Matei Clej.
Roberta Moore, 43, of Cricklewood was found guilty at Highbury Corner Magistrates Court of two assaults and possession of an offensive weapon. Her co-defendant Robert de Jonge, 36, also of Cricklewood, was found guilty of of assault.
The violence erupted at the Tottenham Palestine Literature Festival on 20 September last year, after Orim Shimshon, an Arab pro-Israel activist, staged a protest during a series of talks on the Balfour Declaration.
In the ensuing fracas, De Jonge punched Andy Simons, 62, a retired British Library professor and organiser of the festival, who was chairing the talks, in the face.
Moore then discharged a dye spray in Mr Simons’ face before turning it on festival book-seller Simon Assaf.
In his defence, De Jonge argued that he had accidentally hit Mr Simons with a rolled-up piece of paper while intervening to defend Moore. Judge Julia Newton, however, found that he had acted ‘with full intent’ and accepted the account of Mr Simons, who described being ‘slugged’ on his left cheek by De Jongh.
The court was shown pictures of a cut to Simons’ left cheek following the attack. The member of the Haringey Justice for Palestinians group responsible for the festival told the court of suffering concussion after being struck so hard, his glasses fell to the floor. He said he was now “hesitant of doing Palestinian work in public”.
Simon Assaf told the court of attending to Mr Simons after the attack, before Moore discharged the dye spray at him. He managed to deflect the shot before helping to apprehend Moore. Describing the events, he said, “It is worrying you can’t even sit and talk about books without thugs coming in.”
The judge found Moore guilty of all charges, ruling she had not used the spray in ‘self defence’ as claimed. The legally-available ‘Farb’ dye spray, which she claimed to have as protection against rape, was ruled by the judge to have caused “harm” after Moore used it at Simons point-blank in the face.
Moore, formerly head the EDL’s Jewish division, is the leader of the UK arm of the Jewish Defence League, a far-right political organisation classified as “a right-wing terrorist group” by the FBI.
De Jongh and Moore will at Highbury Corner Magistrates Court for sentence on 23 March 2015.
They are both subject to conditions of bail not to attend any event involving Haringey Justice for Palestinians.