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racially-aggravated criminal damage

A MEMBER of a far-right group nailed a copy of the Koran to a proposed Muslim education centre.

Graham French, 28, also sprayed EDL, which stands for English Defence League, on the former Melrose Arms in Shotton Colliery, in December.

It was after planning permission for a change of use, which has caused controversy, was granted.

French, of Dene Crescent, Shotton Colliery, admitted racial or religious aggravated criminal damage to the wall of a multi-faith centre.

He was given a community order with six months supervision at Peterlee Magistrates’ Court plus a one-month tagged curfew between 10.30pm and 7am.

Sunderland Echo

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Muslims at a mosque feared an attack after a teenager daubed graffiti outside the building following the killing of soldier Lee Rigby, a court heard.

Oadby Central Mosque

Oadby Central Mosque

Worshippers at Oadby Central Mosque believed they could be assaulted after “EDL” – a reference to the English Defence League – was scrawled on a charity clothing bin outside the building.

Prosecutor Safina Desai told Leicester Youth Court yesterday how the 17-year-old graffiti vandal wrote “EDL” on the bin in Sandhurst Street days after the attack on Mr Rigby in London on May 22.

In a victim statement read out in court, Muhammed Katib, chairman of Oadby Central Mosque, which is also a community centre, told how Muslims were in fear of being attacked.

After the killing of Mr Rigby, mosques had been set on fire.

“We were on red alert and very concerned about what had happened,” said Mr Katib.

“We were fearful that the mosque would be damaged or set on fire or people would be attacked.”

Mr Katib told how the mosque was watched 24 hours a day for a while, and worshippers stayed away for fear of being targeted.

Mrs Desai said the defendant, who is from Oadby and cannot be named because of his age, was arrested after police identified his “tag” – a signature – on the graffiti.

When his home was searched, police found pens that matched the colour of the graffiti on the bin.

Mrs Desai said the teenager admitted he had scrawled the graffiti.

“He told police he had heard about what had happened in London and did not like it,” she said. “He wanted to do something about it. He was aware that the centre was used as a mosque.”

Mrs Desai told the court that the teenager had already scrawled “EDL” on the windows of the centre and on the same charity clothes bin on May 13.

She said Mr Katib had dismissed that graffiti as a “one-off” event, but was very alarmed after the second attack.

The teenager pleaded not guilty to two charges of racially-aggravated criminal damage on May 13 and between June 6 and 11.

He was convicted of both offences after a two-day trial at Leicester Youth Court on September 17.

Alan Mee, representing the teenager at the sentencing hearing yesterday, said the 17-year-old regretted what he had done.

The teenager said: “I am sorry if I caused any grief or fear or anything.”

Chairman of the bench Bruce Chater gave the teenager a 12-month rehabilitation order with supervision.

The youth is to be electronically tagged for two months and must observe a curfew between 9pm and 7am every day.

Mr Chater told the teenager: “I think on reflection you understand what you did and how something like this affected the community.”

Leicester Mercury

Georgina Gontar, 20, of Old Woking, pleaded guilty to a breach of an Asbo, four offences of racially aggravated criminal damage and two of causing criminal damage when she appeared at Guildford Magistrates’ Court last Wednesday (April 17).

The graffiti, including the the name “Bin Laden” and the letters “EDL”, was daubed inside a shop at Lion Retail Park, on a wall in view of the Shah Jahan Mosque in Oriental Road and outside properties in Walton Road on November 12 last year.

For the Asbo breach and racially aggravated criminal damage, Gontar received a custodial sentence of 10 weeks, suspended for 12 months.

For the criminal damage she received a custodial sentence of seven weeks, suspended for 12 months, to run concurrently with the first term.

During the 12-month period, Gontar has a supervisory order in place and she is required to participate in a diversity awareness and prejudice programme.

The magistrates also ordered Gontar to pay compensation of £650 to the James Walker Group, £40 to Hobbycraft and £20 to Unit 18 Boundary Way at the hearing.

She was jointly charged with 19-year-old Laura Woodward of Addlestone.

Get Surrey

Woking People

Laura Woodward, A teenager spray-painted racist graffiti near a mosque and daubed the names Saddam Hussein and Bin Laden on flats during a booze-fuelled spree.

Laura Woodward, 19 of Byron Road, Addlestone, admitted four counts of racially and religious aggravated criminal damage and two of criminal damage.

Woodward, appearing before Guildford magistrates last Thursday, also admitted racially aggravated damage to the front door of an Asian man whom she knew.

Nick Wilson, prosecuting, told the court that Woodward and another girl bought spray paint from Hobbycraft in Woking on November 12 last year when they “commenced these acts of criminal damage”.

The court was told that Woodward sprayed her name and either the number four or a cross in the ladies’ cloakroom at Hobbycraft.

The pair then headed towards the Shah Jahan Mosque, where they painted racist words on a nearby wall in Oriental Road, mis-spelling England as they did so.

It cost almost £1,000 to remove the offensive material.

The public wall of the car park belonging to the same company was also sullied with racist graffiti, which the court heard will cost £344 to put right.

A silver Seat Alhambra car was vandalised with pink spray paint, costing the owner £15 to wash off.

The names Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein were daubed on the public wall of Walton Court flats and the letters EDL – an acronym for the English Defence League – were scrawled across the public wall and windows of business units 14 and 18 Boundary Way.

Nick Wilson, prosecuting, said the additional charge was in relation to graffiti on the Asian man’s house door.

“He treated her as his first girlfriend,” Mr Wilson said.

“He went to work and came home to find his house had been treated in this way. They were friends and this is what she did.”

The court heard that it would cost £1,500 for a new door.

Chris McGlinchey, defending, said: “She was, as you may have gathered, substantially drunk.

“The bulk of her offences were when she was using drink.”

Mr McGlinchey added: “She fully accepts that these offences will have caused a great deal of offence and she has developed a degree of empathy as a result.

“She is now in work and it is fair to say she has taken steps on her own part to reduce her drinking. She has asked me to make an apology on her behalf, which you may take with a pinch of salt but the apology is heartfelt.

“She has engaged with people of that community since. She does not see herself as being a racist.”

District Judge Workman said he had considered sending Woodward to a young offenders’ institution but instead decided on a community order.

He warned her: “I must make it clear – if you break the order, that is where you are going to end up.”

Woodward was sentenced to a 12-month community order plus 100 hours of unpaid work.

She must also pay damages of £100 to the mosque and £400 for the damaged door.

District Judge Workman said: “The unpaid work is to at least give something back to the community.

“All graffiti is offensive but when it is racially aggravated, it is particularly offensive.”

Get Surrey

A MAN launched a drunken attack on a mosque after watching a news report about the desecration of Commonwealth graves in Libya.

Barry Stanbury, 42, was caught on CCTV cameras at shortly before 2.30am on March 5, wandering around the Exeter Mosque before a window was smashed, Exeter magistrates heard.

The court was told Stanbury was wearing “a distinctive hoodie” with a logo of a large cross on it, and a police officer recognised the defendant.

Clifford Howard, prosecuting, said: “The criminal damage occurred at the Exeter Mosque at 2.23am. We have the precise time because it was caught on CCTV.”

When interviewed Stanbury said he was “so drunk he did not remember doing it”.

Mr Howard said he told police his motive for carrying out the religiously aggravated criminal damage was seeing on the news that Commonwealth graves had been desecrated in Libya.

Stanbury, of Laxton Avenue, Exeter, denied racially or religiously aggravated criminal damage at the mosque but was convicted after a trial.

Magistrates sentenced him to 80 hours unpaid work, £100 compensation and pay £150 costs.

Read more at http://www.devonlive.com/man-launched-drunken-attack-exeter-mosque/story-17210666-detail/story.html#axzz2UdZMRgja#uZtE5ZJTB75XHro6.99

March 5th 2012

This Is Exeter

STAFF at an Indian restaurant in Bridgwater believe they are being targeted on religious and racist grounds following a spate of attacks.

This week a man was convicted for religiously aggravated criminal damage and provocation of violence at the Spice Club in Eastover.

But there have been further reports of an assault on a waiter, racial abuse and criminal damage.

Waiter Mehbub Kamali, 19, who claims he was punched on one occasion, told the Mercury: “I have been attacked for no other reason than the colour of my skin.”

Last Tuesday, Sedgemoor Magistrates heard how Ashley Wilson, 24, smashed a glass pane at the restaurant and threatened to cut waiters’ faces because they served Halal meat.

The court heard he asked Mr Kamali and Sultan Ahmet “Are you Muslim?”

When they said yes, he said “I’m going to cut your face” and that it was “because I’m EDL [English Defence League].”

Mr Kamali said: “It’s happening again and again and it’s terrifying. I wonder what’s next?”

Wilson, of Claremont Grove, admitted the attack on September 26 and was ordered to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work and to pay £165 compensation and £85 costs. In mitigation, Crispin Hayllar said he had drunk too much and acted out of character.

Police confirmed this week that a 16-year-old and a 17-year-old were arrested on suspicion of criminal damage for an attack on the restaurant on November 3, and have been released on bail.

Police said there had been allegations of racial abuse but they were keeping an open mind.

Anyone with information about the incident on November 3 can call police on 0845-4567000.

This is the West Country

THREE people are to appear in court next month accused of spraying racially offensive remarks on three buildings, including a mosque.

It relates to alleged spray painting incidents at the Nasir Mosque, in Brougham Place, Hartlepool, and at the Albert Guest House, in Front Street, and the Milco store, in Front Street, both Shotton Colliery, County Durham, which all took place on Tuesday November 16 last year.

Anthony Donald Smith, 24, of Hampshire Place, Peterlee, and 31-year-old Steven James Vasey, of Prior’s Grange, High Pittington, both County Durham, plus 19-year-old Charlotte Davies, of Aylesbury, in Buckinghamshire, have been charged with racially aggravated criminal damage.

All three have been bailed by police to appear before North Durham magistrates, at Peterlee, on Wednesday May 11.

Durham Police said that at the time of the alleged incidents all three claimed to be members of the English Defence League.

Northern Echo