Prestwich man damaged 'every panel' of BMW after owner displayed Palestinian flag in window

The man admitted damaging two cars and vandalising a garden wall because he found the owners' Palestinian flags "offensive and intimidating" Credit: PA Images

A man has been sentenced for damaging cars and a garden wall after seeing Palestinian flags displayed in the owners' windows.

Elliot Kersh admitted he carried out the damage while on late night walks with his dog in Prestwich between October and December 2023.

The incidents included scratching a BMW along the front, side, and rear of the car. Over the next few weeks, the owner of the car discovered further damage.

By 6 December, almost every panel had been badly scratched.

The 64-year-old also spray painted a garden wall and scratched the bonnet of a VW Golf on a nearby road.

The owners of both cars had Palestinian flags in their windows.

After being arrested, Kersh admitted to damaging both cars and the garden wall, claiming he found the flags offensive and intimidating - but said he was not racist.

Kersh went on to appear at Manchester Magistrates Court in December 2023, where he pleaded guilty to three charges of racially aggravated criminal damage.

Kersh was sentenced to a 12 month Community Order with 15 Rehabilitation Days and the court imposed a 12 month Restraining Order.

He was also ordered him to carry out 60 hours unpaid work.

Joseph Seale, Senior Crown Prosecutor for CPS North West, said: “Elliott Kersh has caused considerable upset and fear by deliberately targeting property belonging to homeowners who had Palestinian flags displayed in their windows.

“The CPS take incidents of hate crime very seriously and we are dedicated to bringing perpetrators to justice, which is why we asked the court to apply an uplift to Kersh’s sentence to reflect the racial aggravation of the offences he committed.

“Everyone has the right to exercise peaceful freedom of expression without fearing they will be targeted.”

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