A racist yob who hurled vile antisemitic abuse at a Jewish family was found guilty after film of the confrontation went viral.
Adam Cassidy, 20, called the group ‘dirty Jews’ when they confronted him after he collided with a baby buggy outside a Costa in St Albans.
Cassidy claimed they called him a “dirty Arab” first, but his defence was rejected by magistrates.
A video of the incident, filmed by victim Michael Mendelsohn, was played to the court and showed Cassidy using the antisemitic term three times before kicking a Costa hoarding in the family’s direction.
Cassidy, who grew up in Egypt and is the son of an English mother and a Turkish father, had pleaded not guilty to racially aggravated assault and to using the slur when he appeared at St Albans Magistrates’ Court.
But District Judge Margeret Dodd found Cassidy guilty of both charges.
She told Cassidy: “I don’t accept your evidence. I don’t accept that anybody called you anything.
“Whether it was an accident when you bumped into the buggy I don’t know.
“That doesn’t excuse what you did and doesn’t excuse your response.
“I’m satisfied you used the language and you used it more than once. I don’t accept it was mere abuse.
“There are plenty of words you could have used if you just wanted to be rude; this was motivated by a racial motive.
“It was obvious that they were Jewish because of their skull caps and for that reason you said ‘dirty jew’ three times.
“I don’t accept that you were fearing that you would be attacked when you kicked the barrier.
“I’m not sure what you were trying to do but Mendelsohn would have been hit by the barrier that you agreed you kicked deliberately.”
Ali Hussain, defending Cassidy, claimed that the slur was not motivated by racial hatred but was used as an equivalent to what his client had been called before recording started.
He said: “He has never disputed using those words and has been entirely consistent throughout about the reason he has said what he said.
“It’s unfortunate that a little bit more wasn’t caught on the video as that would have clarified the situation.
“He gives you a clear account as to why he used the words that he did and the reason, I would suggest, is that it’s really him using vulgar language directed at somebody who is clearly Jewish but not, as required by the act, that he is demonstrating hostility based on the fact that they are jewish and I would submit that there is a clear distinction between the two.
“The defendant has explained why he kicked the hoarding and I would submit that probably amounts to self defence.”
Speaking after the hearing, Mendelsohn, who filmed the tirade of abuse which went vital last summer, said: “Cassidy’s defence added insult to injury.
“It’s upsetting that this kind of behaviour happens in this day and age.”
Cassidy, of St Albans, Herts, was ordered to return to the same court for sentencing next month.