An aristocrat has been found guilty of calling the head of the Campaign Against Antisemitism “Jewish scum”.
Piers Portman was found guilty of making the remarks in June 2018 following the sentencing of Alison Chabloz, a notorious Holocaust denier and antisemite.
Portman, son of the 9th Viscount Portman and heir to 110 acres of West End real estate, reportedly followed Falter out of courtroom after he testified against Chabloz and confronted him.
CAA say Portman “extended his hand to Mr Falter, who refused to shake it because the building was filled with, what he told Southwark Crown Court, was a “Who’s Who of Holocaust deniers, neo-Nazis and far-right extremists”.
Portman then became “very enraged” before telling him “I have written to you before. Come after me, you Jewish scum. Come and persecute me. Come and get me”.
CAA published a 1,527-word letter sent by Mr Portman, which denounces his former wife’s lawyer Baroness Fiona Shackleton, who is Jewish. In the letter, he calls her a “greedy, grasping and lying manipulator of the system that happens to be Jewish.” He also accused her of “playing the Talmud inspired ‘Tyrant posing as a victim.’”
Under cross examination, Portman said he attended Chabloz’s hearing to “learn more about my own circumstances”, because he was being “persecuted by Jewish tyrants posing as victims”.
In a majority verdict, ten out of twelve jurors at Southwark Crown Court found Portman guilty of causing racially aggravated harassment, alarm and distress – and he will be sentenced next month.
The judge warned he was “not ruling any sentence out”. The Crown Prosecution Service confirmed it will be seeking a hate crime sentence uplift.
Sati Dhadda, from the Crown Prosecution Service, 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.”
Gideon Falter, Chief Executive of Campaign Against Antisemitism, said: “This is a good result for British justice and British Jews. This despicable, unrepentant antisemite instructed his lawyer to tell the court that he is an honourable man being framed by lying Jews. The jury saw straight through Mr Portman, whose hatred of Jews speaks for itself. This verdict reaffirms my belief in the justice system of our country. It shows that even the wealthiest and most privileged cannot escape British justice and will face the consequences of their anti-Jewish racism.”
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