Tuesday, September 28, 2010

(NEWS) 65 Year Old Jew Jailed For Beating Antisemitic 'Hell's Angel'

"A pensioner who attacked a "fearsome" Hell's Angel with his walking stick after he was racially abused has been sent to prison for 18 months.
Keith Degroot smashed 6ft 3in muscular biker gang member Stephen Hall across the head after he knocked the 66-year-old's glasses off and called him a 'fucking Jew' in a Leeds pub.

Mr Hall, 56, suffered a fractured cheek and other serious head and facial injuries and was knocked senseless.

The clash took place after the two men had spent the day drinking at the Duck and Drake, in Leeds city centre. The pair were regulars in the pub and knew each other by their nicknames 'Plug' and 'Cockney Keith'.

John Harrison, prosecuting, told Sheffield Crown Court that what began as light hearted banter between the pair turned serious.

He said: 'Stephen Hall knocked the defendant's glasses off and the defendant got up from the table and struck Mr Hall with a full swing of his walking stick.'

Mr Hall spent five days in hospital after the attack on April 19 last

He also suffered bleeding to his brain and damaged nasal bones and cuts.
Degroot pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm.

He said he had struck Mr Hall after he had been intimidated.

The pensioner said he knew Hall was a member of the Blue Angels chapter of the Hell's Angels and the organisation had a reputation for using violence in disputes.

The pensioner has previous convictions for violence. But he had not been in trouble since the 1990s.

Derek Duffy, mitigating, said: 'The Blue Angels is a chapter of Hell's Angels fairly well known in the Leeds area.'

Mr Duffy said Degroot only struck one blow and it was not premeditated.
Witnesses in the pub saw the exchange between the two men before the violence.

The barrister described Mr Hall as a 'large man with a fearsome reputation' who behaved in an abusive and aggressive manner.

Mr Duffy added: 'The complainant is 6ft 3in, has a shaved head, is of a heavy, muscular, build and in his fifties.'

'Mr Degroot can neither be described as large or muscular.'

'During the course of the exchange Mr Hall called the defendant a fucking jew and knocked his pint over.'

He said Mr Hall then knocked the pensioner's glasses off.

Degroot, who lives in sheltered accommodation in Leeds, has a disability and walks with a stick.

Describing the incident as an 'exceptional case', Mr Duffy said: 'There is no suggestion on this occasion that Degroot was acting in an aggressive manner.'

'This is a case where, on the basis of it, there is a significant element of provocation by a man who has both a reputation and a size that would intimidate many.'

Recorder Jane Rowley said she accepted Degroot had reacted after 'racist provocation' and took into account his age and that he only struck one blow.

She said: 'I accept that you did not intend serious harm but that your reaction was that you were reckless as to whether harm was caused when you struck him a blow of some force with a strike to the face.'

'It would be obvious to most people that serious injury may well follow.'

"Your offence is so serious that neither a fine nor community punishment can be imposed."" (source)

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