Islamophobic bus rant woman walks free from court

Simone Joseph

An Islamophobe who branded a pregnant Muslim woman an “Isis b****” on a bus has been spared jail.

Simone Joseph, 36, hurled expletives at her Muslim victim on a bus in north west London in October. She hurled abuse at the woman and her mother as passengers looked on in horror, and her two-year-old daughter sat in a buggy.

One onlooker filmed the horrific abuse and soon after posted it on Facebook, where it was watched millions of times.

Joseph, of Angel Court, Willesden Green, handed herself into police after her tirade was broadcast by media outlets all over the world. She admitted racially and religiously aggravated behaviour on October 19 at Hendon Magistrates court.

Today she received a 16 week jail sentence, suspended for 18 months.

She addressed the magistrates through tears after the sentence was read out, saying: “I just want to say thank you very much.”

Joseph was also ordered to pay £500 in compensation and £180 in court costs, as well as 60 hours of unpaid work.

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. She has a history of mental health problems and has been put back on medication for depression since the incident.

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.”

Marion Stern, chair of the bench, sentencing, said: “Although we understand that you were remorseful and your previous good character, nonetheless this was an abhorrent incident. Only a custodial sentence will suffice. We accept that your actions have had an impact not only on your life but on your children. We believe that this sentence will deter you from further offending.”

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