Woman who shouted ‘shame on you’ to queer people at Pride sentenced to anger management classes
A 38-year-old woman has been given a three-month suspended sentence and told to take anger management classes after committing a homophobic hate crime at Walthamstow Pride.
Footage posted on Twitter on 28 July showed Jamila Choudhury of East London wearing a black niqab and pelting verbal abuse at a Pride-goer draped in a rainbow flag.
She called Pride-goers “despicable” and “shameless” and repeatedly screamed: “Shame on you. God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve.”
At the sentencing on October 3, Judge Diana Pigot called Choudhary’s actions “an attack on [the LGBT+] community”.
She was given a three-month suspended sentence, which will not be enforced unless she commits a further offence in the next 12 months.
In addition, she was given a 40-day anger management activity and ordered to pay £100 compensation to nine of the people she abused in the incident, in installments of £10 a week.
Choudhury was already under a one-year community order for a racially aggravated public order offence against a London Underground employee who she called a “black piece of trash”.
Abuse left Pride parade organisers “shaken”.
A passerby, Yusuf Patel, filmed Choudhary’s homophobic rant and posted the footage on Twitter, where her actions were widely condemned.
On Hoe Street, part of the parade route, a warden can be seen escorting a participant away while the woman continues to harangue people.
Disgusting homophobic abuse at those on Waltham Forest Pride today.
No matter what form hate comes in, we must stamp it out and say no to all forms of hate! Also, very importantly we cannot call out one form of hate but be silent/complicit on others. @GalopUK @stonewalluk pic.twitter.com/kDAFoAb8Vw
— Yusuf Patel (@YusufJP_) July 27, 2019
While Choudhary shouted abuse, people could be seen ducking in and out of shops behind her as the parade continued toward Town Square Gardens.
The Metropolitan Police were alerted and Choudhary was arrested on 29 July, later being charged with a hate crime public order offence.
In an impact statement read in court, one of the parade’s organisers said: “I was shaken, she because she came out aggressively shouting and pointing abuse to the marchers, which included children, including my grandson.”
Choudhary’s defender, Shaun Esprit, claimed she was “devastated” when she watched the footage. “She didn’t recognise who she saw,” he said. “What she did recognise is extremely angry behaviour. She felt ashamed.”
He said that the publicity made her “ashamed” to look some of the customers in the salon she worked at in the eye.
The court also heard Choudhury has suffered from health problems including auto-immune disease.
“We condemn outright and unequivocally all forms of hatred and abuse.”
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Pride organisers published a statement on its Facebook page shortly after news of the hate crime broke.
We Are Walthamstow Pride denounced the incident, but emphasised that Islamophobia directed at the suspect is not tolerable either.
“We… condemn outright and unequivocally all forms of hatred and abuse, including Islamophobia and anti-Semitism and want to make it absolutely clear that this was one, lone individual.
“In no way do that person’s views represent the views of any section of the local community,” the statement added.
“We utterly condemn this, and any attempts to use this incident to fan the flames of discord between communities in our great borough. Hear this – it hasn’t worked in the past, it won’t work now, and it never will.”