Socialist Worker

Judge jails seven more people over Gaza protests

by Siân Ruddick
Issue No. 2190

A further seven people were sent to prison on Friday last week on charges relating to London protests against Israel’s Gaza offensive.

This brings the total number of protesters sent to jail to 17.

All were charged with violent disorder and had pled guilty to the charge at previous hearings.

Judge Denniss said that the sentences had to act as a deterrent for the future.

There are reporting restrictions due to the ages of some of the accused, but sentences ranged from eight months to two years.

Syed Rizvi was found guilty of two counts of violent disorder, on 3 and 10 January 2009.

He was sentenced to 18 months and two years, to be served concurrently.

A suspended sentence of 12 months was given to Adel Lamine. Adel has suffered from poor mental health throughout his life, the court heard.

Judge Denniss emphasised that it was these extraordinary circumstances, that led to a suspended sentence.

The case was not to be used as a precedent for defendants without such mitigating circumstances, he added.

Defendants’ families and friends packed into court. Many broke down in tears as the sentences were read out.

More sentencing hearings will be heard on Friday of this week in Isleworth Crown court.

The first trials of those pleading not guilty will begin in the first week of March.

Some 119 people were arrested in total on the demonstrations, with 78 charged.

Judge Jonathan Denniss was also part of another case involving the police.

It involved Liron Shnaider, who pleaded guilty to careless driving after a crash in which an off-duty policeman died.

PC Christopher Dent was on his way home to Slough when Shnaider’s car ploughed into him. The policeman died almost instantly. Shnaider fled the scene after the accident.

Denniss did not jail Shnaider. He received a 20-week sentence suspended for two years, was banned from driving for two years and ordered to do 100 hours of community service.

Sentencing him, Denniss said, “The reality is no one will ever recover from this crime, neither the victim’s family nor the defendant’s family. Both families, and all the individuals involved, have been scarred for life.”

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Tue 23 Feb 2010, 19:25 GMT
Issue No. 2190
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