SYDNEY, Australia (JTA) — A Sydney man whom police accused of participating in a brutal anti-Semitic attack last year was acquitted for lack of evidence.
Robert Clifford, 26, was charged last October with affray, assault and possessing a knife. Police said he attacked five Orthodox Jews as they walked home from a Shabbat dinner near Bondi Beach. One of the victims, Eli Behar, suffered minor cerebral hemorrhaging and was hospitalized for two days.
But the case against Clifford, who pleaded not guilty to the charges, was dismissed earlier this week because the magistrate said he could not be satisfied Clifford had committed the alleged offenses.
The acquittal comes just weeks after the case against another man accused in the attack, Spartaco Marciano Di Bella, 24, was also withdrawn because the director of public prosecutions deemed there to be insufficient evidence that would lead to a conviction.
Two 17-year-old boys who were also charged are understood to be in a facility for minors.
The assault was described by Jewish leaders at the time as the worst anti-Semitic incident of its kind since records began in 1989.