Drunken racists beat up Italian barman because they thought he was Muslim

‘They wanted to beat me up … All three of them hit me, kicks and punches, and when I was on the floor there were more kicks and punches’, Dario Antonioni tells court

A trio of drunken racists attacked an Italian barman and told him to “go back to your own country” because they incorrectly assumed he was Muslim, a court has heard.

Shouting “f***ing Muslim” and “Muslim go home” Joshua O’Leary, 23, and Alfred Young, 19, set upon Dario Antonioni in the in Surrey Quays area of east London on 10 June.

He told Inner London crown court that he that he had a beard at the time.

“Due to your prejudice and ignorance and because he had a small beard you all thought he was a Muslim and shouted abuse at him,” Judge Benedict Kelleher said as he sentenced the pair to community service and curfew instead of jail, the Evening Standard reported. “He put up a spirited defence to your completely unjustified attack late at night while under the influence of alcohol.”

He added that a third man, who was not caught, appeared to be the leader in the attack.

Mr Antonioni said he started walking quickly to get away and began to run when a bottle was thrown at him after he exited the Canada Water tube station.

He said: “The three of them surrounded me. I fell to the ground and I was struck everywhere by all three of them. I said: ‘What are you doing? Why are you doing this?’ and I was speaking to them in Italian, but they increased the shouting. They wanted to beat me up … All three of them hit me, kicks and punches, and when I was on the floor there were more kicks and punches.”

He escaped with bruises on his elbows and knees and grazes on his face.

O’Leary denied taking part in the attack but was found guilty by a jury of religiously aggravated assault. He was sentenced to a 12-month community order, 180 hours of community services, 20 days rehabilitation and a night-time curfew for 12 weeks.

Young admitted to the same charge and was handed a 12-month community order with 80 hours community service and a six-week night-time curfew.

They were both ordered to pay compensation to the victim.

The Independent

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