Two men from Poland have been jailed for 5 months after they sprayed anti-Semitic graffiti and football slogans on twenty homes and businesses across Tunbridge Wells in November last year.
The incident took place on 17 November 2016, when Sebastian Tuncula and Damian Filipek, both from Poland, went out drinking before deciding they would paint slogans on building across Tunbridge Wells.
Customers and staff at a pub witnessed the crime and alerted the police. One customer tailed the men until police arrived, apparently finding them with their hands covered in red paint. Maidstone Crown Court prosecutor Mary Jacobson said the men were caught “literally red-handed”.
The graffiti consisted of football slogans such as “Wisla Sharks” accompanied by “Amti Jude” meaning “anti-Jewish” and a star of David. In Poland the fans of Wisla Sharks are infamous for violence and antisemitism.
Both men were “sincerely remorseful” after the incident, claiming that any anti-Semitic feeling was directed towards the Jewish allegiance to Wisla Krakow’s rival team rather than the wider Jewish community.
This was accepted by Judge Charles Macdonald QC but he said prison was inevitable in order to punish them and deter others.
“The expression of such anti-Semitic ideas is deeply offensive,” added the judge.
The local council was left with a clean-up bill of £2,641, however, most of the businesses and homes required further repairs at the expense of the owners.
The men were sentenced to 22 weeks in prison.