Golders Green kosher supermarket knife attacker avoids prison

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Golders Green kosher supermarket knife attacker avoids prison

Gabriel Abdullah, 34, was handed a suspended sentence and ordered to undertake alcohol treatment by a judge after waving a knife and threatening to attack staff at Golders Green kosher store

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

Gabriel Abdullah brandishes knife outside Golders Green supermarket
Gabriel Abdullah brandishes knife outside Golders Green supermarket

A man who brandished a knife outside kosher supermarket in Golders Green and shouted antisemitic abuse at staff in a terrifying incident that shocked the community has avoided a jail term, reports claim.

Gabriel Abdullah, 34, was arrested on January 29, minutes after he attempted to make his way inside Kay’s kosher supermarket on Hamilton Road, waving a knife and threatening staff inside, asking them for their view on events in Gaza.

Police later praised the bravery of the shop staff, and members of the public who intervened, and thanked Shomrim for their invention after they were alerted to the attack.

Abdullah, who lives in Golders Green, had pleaded guilty to causing affray and being in possession of a knife in February, where it emerged that police had amended hate crime charges originally planned for him.

But it has now emerged that after appearing at Harrow Crown Court, Abdullah was handed two concurrent  suspended sentences for the crime, along with a nine month alcohol treatment requirement.

Yosef Reitman, one of those to bravely intervene and prevent Abdullah carrying out an attack, said the decision not to send Abdullah to prison had left him shocked.

In a statement he told GB News: “When I first heard about the suspended sentence I was utterly surprised.

“The fact he is basically out after threatening a bunch of people is crazy.”
Reitman said he planned to ask for an appeal, and described the sentence as “way too lenient.”

GB News reported on Tuesday  that rather than being sent to jail, the judge sentenced Abdullah to 18 months imprisonment, suspended for two years, and 12 months imprisonment, again suspended for two years.

Alongside the alcohol treatment, he was also ordered to complete a 30 day rehab requirement. At an earlier trial Matthew Ness, Abdullah’s barrister, had told the court that he had been suffering from paranoid schizophrenia before the incident – which he reportedly tried to self-medicate with alcohol.

“Mental health contributed to this offence,” Ness told the court. “Mr Abdullah said his mental health issues had never caused him to leave the house with a knife before, and he attributed this to a very high alcohol intake.”

In February Judge Charles Bourne KC had ordered a pre-sentence report be drawn up and told Abdullah: “You are going to be sentenced on May 8, by which time the probation service will have been in touch with you.

“It’s very much in your interests to assist the probation service.”

Footage posted to social media following the incident in January had showed Abdullah wearing a grey hoodie as he tussled with shop workers while carrying a knife.

After the January 29 incident Chief Superintendent Sara Leach, responsible for policing in north-west London, said: “Yesterday’s incident in Golders Green has understandably caused significant concern and left our Jewish communities shaken.

“I want to be clear, this matter is being treated as a hate crime and we are dedicating significant resources to the investigation.“Our officers responded quickly and were on the scene within six minutes and able to arrest the suspect within ten minutes of being called. I want to pay tribute to the members of the public who bravely intervened before police arrived.”

Jewish News has approached the court for a statement.

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