CST Blog

Man found guilty of racially abusing former boss

25 June 2019

In February 2019, an ex-employee from a steel company based in London, Mr Shane Pegg, made antisemitic comments towards the owner of the company as well as etching a swastika into a piece of metal belonging to the company. 

The defendant, Mr Pegg, had been working at the company for several months. He was feeling unwell and was approached by a staff member who suggested he went home. Strong words were exchanged, and Pegg started to throw his belongings and also made some antisemitic comments to the staff member. The owner of the steel company was in the office and saw this on the CCTV. He went down to the workshop and escorted the defendant off the premises. They gave him his belongings and locked the gate behind him so he could not re-enter the premises. The defendant became aggressive and was shouting, as was the other employee. The company owner attended to keep the situation as calm as possible. Pegg, at some point during the aggressive exchange, slapped the fellow employee through the gate. 

The defendant then left the scene on his scooter but then returned a few minutes later, when he threw his toolbox over the gate and shouted antisemitic phrases along the lines of “Hitler should have finished the job” and “f*****g Jews” at the company owner and other employee. Pegg then left and called the owner on the phone to say that he would burn the workshop down.

The incident occurred on a Friday in February, and the owner of the company returned to his office, keen to finish his work for the day and make it home for Shabbat. The following Monday, a swastika was discovered on a metal bar, and the word “c**t” was found on some plastic sheeting where the defendant had been working. CCTV footage showed him carrying out this damage.

On the morning of the hearing at Highbury Magistrate’s Court, Pegg pled guilty to Racially Aggravated Criminal Damage for the swastika symbol on the metal bar, as well as Criminal Damage for writing abusive words on the plastic sheeting. He pled not guilty for Racially Aggravated Abusive Behaviour, which he was charged with for the antisemitic verbal abuse shouted at the gate. However, the Magistrates found him guilty on this charge. Because two of the offences on the day were racially aggravated, the Magistrates found that sentencing was out of their remit and that the case should be sent to Crown Court for sentencing, calling the incidents “a horrendous set of offences”.

A representative from the steel company responded to the case:

“CST were so professional and helpful when it came to reporting a bad incident of antisemitism in our company. They accompanied us to court and held our hand the whole way. It was very re-assuring to know we were not alone in the fight against antisemitism in London. Thank you CST”

CST wishes to thank the Police and the Crown Prosecution Service for helping to secure a conviction. CST would also like to thank the owner of the company who was called as a witness to the court, who CST accompanied to the court on the day. He was commended by the Magistrates on his dignified demeanour in court, and they acknowledged that it could not have been easy for him to come to court to give his statement following the antisemitic incident.

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