A man in Llandrindod Wells, Wales, has been found guilty of assaulting Tesco staff and hurling a bottle at a police officer whilst shouting antisemitic abuse, but in an appallingly lenient sentence, he has been spared jail, despite being a repeat offender.
Philip Anthony Kuegler, 50, pleaded guilty to a charge of using religiously aggravated threatening words or behaviour to cause fear of violence and to assaulting a police office at Llandrindod Wells Magistrates’ Court. We are staggered however by his light sentence. Kuegler escaped with a six-month prison sentence suspended for two years, meaning that he walked free from court and will remain free so long as he does not reoffend and completes 20 rehabilitation activity days and five hate crime sessions, pays the police officer £300 in compensation and pays a £115 victim surcharge.
Prosecutor Stephen Davies said that Kuegler was the last customer at Llandrindod Wells Tesco just after midnight on 15th September, when he became abusive towards a member of staff. He was trying to purchase three bottles of cider at a self-service checkout but became angry when a member of staff informed him that the machine only operated using bank cards. Kuegler reportedly shouted at staff that everyone who works at Tesco is Jewish and squared up to the night manager, Mr Robinson, who told Kuegler he was Jewish himself and found his comments offensive. Mr Davies said that “The manager asked him to leave but he continued to shout and swear about Jews. He placed his forehead against Mr Robinson’s and [Mr Robinson] thought he was going to headbutt him. He pulled out one of the bottles and held it over Mr Robinson’s head.” Kuegler then smashed the bottle on the ground and walked away. According to statements given by staff to Dyfed-Powys Police, Kuegler was “extremely aggressive and abusive,” appeared drunk and made comments such as “they are all Jews”.