A man has admitted striking a rabbi over the head with a brick outside a synagogue in Essex which left the victim needing seven stitches.

Rabbi Rafi Goodwin needed hospital treatment for head injuries after he was attacked in Chigwell on May 16 last year, Essex Police said.

Mr Goodwin was driving at about 1pm on May 16 last year when a person walked into the road from behind a parked van, causing him to brake.

He was then verbally abused with his Jewish faith referenced. He was also spat on.

The victim then tried to drive away after the incident in Tudor Crescent, Ilford, but came to a stop at Fencepiece Road.

As he waited at the junction his car was damaged with the wing mirror on the passenger’s side kicked off and the door damaged.

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When he got out to chase those responsible – taking photos to provide officers – he was attacked and his mobile phone was taken.

He needed urgent medical attention and had seven stitches while also suffering swelling to his face around his right eye.

Mr Goodwin believed he had been assaulted because of his Jewish faith and the incident was treated as a hate crime.

Souraka Djabouri, then 18, of Tudor Crescent, Ilford – was arrested the following day.

He was subsequently interviewed and charged.

His case was listed for trial today (July 6) at Chelmsford Crown Court but before it began, Djabouri, now 19, admitted the charges of GBH, theft, and religiously aggravated criminal damage.

He will be sentenced at the same court on August 4.

PC Thomas Tod, of Loughton CID, said: “Hate crime is a priority for Essex Police and it simply will not be tolerated. Our drive to secure justice in this case shows that.

“We work shoulder to shoulder with our Essex partners to take a tough stance against hatred, and we work closely with the CPS to make sure that, where we identify hate crime offenders, they are brought to justice.”