Crown prosecutors DROP hate crime charges against two West Ham fans filmed chanting anti-Semitic slurs at orthodox Jewish man on Ryanair flight
- Video showed several men shouting ‘I’ve got a foreskin haven’t you, f***ing Jew’
- Lee Carey, 55, and Jak Bruce, 31, denied a public order offence in English court
- But lawyers argued that the court had no jurisdiction under the Civil Aviation Act
Anti-Semitism campaigners have slammed prosecutors for dropping hate crime charges against two West Ham fans who were filmed chanting slurs at an orthodox Jewish man on a plane – because they ‘couldn’t determine’ if it was in UK airspace at the time.
Video showed several men shouting ‘I’ve got a foreskin haven’t you, f***ing Jew’ as the man passed by them on a Ryanair flight from Stansted to Eindhoven.
Lee Carey, 55, and Jak Bruce, 31, denied a public order offence after being accused of singing the song, with their lawyers arguing the English court had no jurisdiction over the incident under the Civil Aviation Act.
The case was adjourned while the Crown Prosecution Service considered the request, before eventually deciding there was ‘insufficient evidence’ of the alleged offences taking place in British airspace.
Video showed several men shouting ‘I’ve got a foreskin haven’t you, f***ing Jew’ as the man passed by them on a Ryanair flight from Stansted to Eindhoven
A spokesman said: ‘Following a careful review of all the available evidence, we concluded there was insufficient evidence to prove that the alleged offences took place in British airspace and therefore within remit of our courts.
‘The CPS takes racism, homophobia, and anti-Semitism in sport extremely seriously because of the devastating impact it has on victims and wider society.
‘Where there is sufficient evidence and it is in the public interest, we will prosecute these cases. We are working with sporting bodies and the police to advise them on the evidence required to build strong cases so that offenders can be brought to justice.’
The news sparked fury from the Campaign Against Antisemitism, who said it was ‘beyond belief’ that prosecutors had decided to drop the case.
A spokesman said: ‘This incident was caught on video that went viral, with plenty of witnesses on the plane, including Ryanair cabin crew.
‘It is beyond belief that sufficient evidence cannot be amassed to establish jurisdiction and that potential culprits are free to go without sanction.
‘This is the third time in almost as many months that the CPS has dropped or reduced charges against suspects in high-profile anti-Semitic hate crime incidents, and members of the Jewish community are writing to us in indignation.’
As a man dressed in religious clothing makes his way down the aisle, a small crowd of passengers can be heard singing vile songs about Jewish men’s penises
The sparked fury when it spread on social media in November last year, with West Ham saying it was ‘appalled’ and vowing to ban those responsible.
Some West Ham fans use the sick chant to reference Tottenham, one of West Ham’s fiercest rivals and traditionally supported by a large Jewish fanbase.
Ian Austin, a life peer in the House of Lords and former Labour MP, tweeted: ‘Disgusting. That’s not an ‘anti Tottenham song’, it’s antisemitic. The poor guy. It’s racist abuse. Why weren’t they kicked off the flight?’
Jewish writer Michael Dickson added: ‘Disgusting anti-Jewish chant towards a Jewish man by a crowd of fans.
‘The club and everyone of goodwill should condemn this. Kick out racism in football and ban these ‘fans’.’