Kevin Rawlinson, Guardian, November 13, 2015
A woman who subjected a pregnant Muslim woman and her two friends to a tirade of abuse on a London bus has been spared jail.
Simone Joseph, who accused her victims of supporting Islamic State and hiding bombs up their skirts, handed herself in after footage of her lengthy rant spread online.
She was given a 16-week jail term, suspended for 18 months, at Hendon magistrates court on Friday.
After watching footage of her Islamophobic attack–which was witnessed by her young child–Joseph said she was disgusted by her behaviour.
A letter from her principal victim, Hanane Yakoubi, who was 34 weeks pregnant, was read out in court. “I am finding it difficult to sleep at night and every time I go out I am afraid that something similar will happen as something like this has happened before because I am a Muslim,” it read.
“I cannot take medication for this because I am pregnant and as I do not speak the language I do not know how to ask for help.”
Joseph kept her head bowed as the footage was played to the court, wiping her eyes as friends and family watched. It showed her calling the women “sand buckets” and “sand rats” and telling them: “I don’t fucking like you people because you’re fucking rude. You come to England and you have no fucking manners.
“Go back to your fucking country where they’re bombing every day. Don’t come to this country where we’re free.”
In the footage, shot in north-west London on 13 October, Joseph berates the women for not speaking English and tells Yakoubi: “You’re lucky I don’t kick you in your uterus and you’ll never have a baby again.”
Tony Meisels, for Joseph, said: “This was a disgusting and extremely unpleasant incident, which any right-minded member of society would think so and which my client recognises as such in the cold light of day.
“She really is ashamed of what has happened and wishes to apologise to the complainant, the other people on the bus and the wider society.” Meisels told the court Joseph had family who are Muslim.
Sparing her jail, magistrate Marion Stern, said: “Although we understand and accept that you are remorseful and of previous good character, nevertheless, this was an abhorrent incident. This incident took place on a public bus in a confined space in the presence of the general public and children.”
She said the sentence was being suspended to take account of Joseph’s good previous character and the fact that she showed remorse. Joseph was ordered to pay £500 compensation to Yakoubi and criminal court charges of £180, in addition to completing 60 weeks of unpaid work.