Man shared Facebook image that said ‘keep calm and burn a mosque’

Simon Neve shared offensive images and posted the comments between July 26 and 28 last year, Cambridge Magistrates’ Court was told

A Cambridge man shared “nasty” and “offensive” images on Facebook, including one that said ‘keep calm and burn a mosque’, a court heard.

Simon Neve, of Trevone Place in Cambridge, commented on social media last year saying it would be “nice” if mosques were on fire in the UK.

The 46-year-old shared the images and posted the comments between July 26 and 28 last year, Cambridge Magistrates’ Court was told.

Neve previously pleaded guilty to five charges of sending an offensive or menacing message via a public communication network.

Magistrates adjourned the case for sentence at the same court until 10am on Tuesday, April 4.

Neve was released on unconditional bail.

Emma Howson, prosecuting, said: “The defendant posted pictures and comments on an open Facebook page which are considered to be offensive towards asylum seekers and muslims.

“In a post on July 26, the defendant wrote ‘I reckon a few mosques will be on fire tonight in France, it would be nice to see it in the UK too’.

“Another comment made by the defendant read ‘I think I’m going to kick off in France and mosques are going to be targeted, they are done’.

“In another post he wrote ‘It’s the only way the French are going to get any comeback’.”

Miss Howson said there were also pictures shared on Neve’s Facebook page of an offensive nature.

She told magistrates: “There were also pictures on his Facebook that said ‘keep calm and burn a mosque’.

“This is clearly a hate crime offence. The defendant has a number of previous offences recorded against him. His last racially aggravated offence was in April 2015.”

Neve has 24 previous convictions for 51 offences, some of which were of a similar nature, the court was told.

Monica Lentin, mitigating, said: “There is a basis of plea here; my client does not admit to creating any of the images in this offence but he does admit that he shared them.

“He does accept responsibility for creating and sending messages that we have read but that is the only thing he accepts.

He accepts that people would find these posts hurtful. It is accepted that these are nasty images and this is serious.”

Mrs Lentin said magistrates may feel the offence crosses the custody threshold, but that it would be proper to adjourn the case for reports.

She added: “My client has a long history of mental health problems. He also suffers from personality disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

“He is also on no end of prescribed opiate medication.”

Cambridge News

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