Saturday 22 October 2016

Mother admits screaming racist abuse at pregnant Muslim woman on bus in viral video

Rachael Burnett

Published 19/10/2015 | 13:23

The rant on the London Bus
The rant on the London Bus

A mother-of-three has admitted screaming racial abuse at a pregnant Muslim woman on a bus after a video of the tirade went viral online.

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Simone Joseph, 36, branded Hanane Yakoubi and her two friends "Isis bitches", accused them of having "bombs up their skirts" and shouted at them to "f**** off back to your own country".

She also threatened to kick Ms Yakoubi, who is 34 weeks pregnant, in the stomach so she would "never have children again".

Her outburst was witnessed by shocked passengers on the 206 bus in Brent, including her own two-year-old daughter who was with her.

Joseph handed herself in to the police three days after the incident on October 13 after a member of the public posted the footage online.

She pleaded guilty to causing racially aggravated distress at Hendon Magistrates' Court today.

Ms Yakoubi said she is scared to leave the house and cannot sleep.

"As a consequence I find it difficult to sleep and cannot take medication because I'm pregnant," she said in a statement read to the court.

Joseph, of Willesden Green, north-west London, was released on unconditional bail and will be sentenced on November 13 at Hendon Magistrates Court.

She wept as she was led out of the dock.

Ms Yakoubi boarded the bus at around 10.30am with two other women and a young child in a pushchair.

"For no apparent reason the defendant started swearing at her, telling her to f*** off back to her own country," prosecutor Darren Watts said.

"The verbal abuse, described as constant swearing, continued for approximately five minutes.

"The bus had a number of other passengers present, including children and indeed the defendant's own two-year-old child.

"Other individuals appeared shocked and distressed by the footage."

The driver stopped the bus to try to stop Joseph but she carried on, the court was told.

She was also seen walking up and down the bus filming her victim.

"At one point she said she would kick the complainant in the stomach and she would never have children again," Mr Watts said. "The complainant is 34 weeks pregnant."

Mr Watts said the incident was reported to the police by "shocked and concerned individuals" after the footage was posted on social media.

Joseph told police the incident was a "lapse" and had been "taken out of context".

In her statement Ms Yakoubi said she is now afraid to leave the house and was also the victim of another similar incident.

"Every time I go out I'm afraid I might find myself in this situation as something similar has happened on a bus on another occasion because I am Muslim," she added.

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