Elham Asaad Buaras
A 36-year-old woman who called a pregnant Muslim woman an “Isis b*tch” in an Islamophobic tirade on a bus has been spared jail.On November 13 Simone Joseph received a 16 week jail sentence, suspended for 18 months. She was also ordered to pay £500 in compensation and £180 in court costs, as well as 60 hours of unpaid work.
Joseph hurled expletives at her 34-year-old victim on a route 206 bus as it travelled through north-west London.
The mother of three hurled abuse at the hijab wearing woman and her mother as passengers looked on, and her two-year-old daughter sat in a buggy. The incident was film and posted on facebook on October 13.
Joseph who lives Willesden Green, London, handed herself to the police after the video went viral and was picked up and broadcast by media outlets all over the world.
She admitted racially and religiously aggravated behaviour on October 19 at Hendon Magistrates court.
She addressed the magistrates through tears after the sentence was read out, saying: “I just want to say thank you very much.”
She covered her head and face with two scarves as she rushed from the courtroom and hugged family and friends.
Peter Lock, prosecuting, said: “The victim has been named as a 34-year-old Italian citizen who now lives in Morocco. Every person on that bus was a victim.”
The court heard that Joseph, who has no previous convictions but last year received a fixed penalty notice for a public order offence, would rely on financial support from family and friends to pay the compensation fee.
Tony Meisels, defending, told the court how Joseph’s brother converted to Islam in 2009 and she had several Muslim family members and friends.
He said: “This was a disgusting and unjustified incident. She is really ashamed of what happened. She wishes to apologise to the victim and the wider community. She is still trying to understand what happened. She is not trying to excuse it. She did not go out that day to abuse anyone.”
He continued: “She is from an immigrant community. Furthermore she has many family members that are Muslim.”