Archive

Tag Archives: mosque

Kevin Crehan (left) and Mark Bennett were part of a group that targeted the mosque in January

Kevin Crehan (left) and Mark Bennett were part of a group that targeted the mosque in January



Two men have been jailed and two women have been given suspended sentences after rashers of bacon were tied to door handles at a Bristol mosque.

During the incident on 17 January, the group shouted racial abuse at a member of the mosque and tied a St George’s flag to the fence of the Jamia Mosque.

Kevin Crehan, 34, of Knowle, was jailed for 12 months and Mark Bennett, 48, of Patchway, for nine months.

Both had admitted religiously aggravated public order offences.

At the Bristol Crown Court hearing, 46-year-old Alison Bennett – the wife of Mark Bennett – was given a six-month sentence, suspended for two years, while Angelina Swales, 31, from Brislington, was handed a four-month sentence, suspended for two years.

‘Worship without fear’

The two women also admitted religiously aggravated public order offences in relation to the targeting of the Totterdown mosque.

All four were given a restraining order preventing them from going within 100m of a mosque anywhere in England or Wales for the next 10 years.

Insp Nigel Colston of Avon and Somerset Police paid tribute to the way the community responded to what happened.

He said: “The way local people came together with overwhelming support for the mosque made me proud to be associated with Bristol.

“There can never be any excuse for hate crime in any shape or form and this criminality will not be tolerated.

“All of our communities have the right to live and worship peacefully without fear of being targeted for their race or religion.”
BBC News

Advertisements

ONE OF the men who admits a racially aggravated attack on Totterdown’s mosque has claimed in court that he didn’t know that bacon was offensive to Muslims.

Mark Bennett, 48, claimed he was not a racist and did not take bacon to the mosque in Green Street on January 17, 2016, intending to cause offence.

Instead, he said, he was trying to raise awareness about the plight of British armed forces veterans and homeless people who he felt deserved more attention.

Bennett, of Spruce Way, Patchway, his wife Alison Bennett, 46, Kevin Crehan, 34, of Springleaze, Knowle, and Angelina Margaret Swales, 31, of West Town Avenue, Brislington, have all pleaded guilty to a racially aggravated public order offence at the Jamia mosque.

Bristol crown court was told on June 17 that during the incident racial abuse was shouted at a Muslim man attending the mosque. Raw bacon was thrown and left hanging from the mosque’s railings and an English flag, the cross of St George, was left on the steps with the legend “No mosques, no refugees”, the prosecution said.

But the two men involved denied being racists, said there was no bacon thrown, and they did not hear any racial abuse. They claimed their protest was peaceful. Crehan said it was an attempt to get Muslims to “integrate”. “I grew up in Totterdown and I have got many, many Muslim friends,” he said.

Bennett drew a parallel with charitable activities.

“In my own time I go to the city centre and take coffee and bacon sandwiches to people who live on the streets,” he said.

Judge Julian Lambert asked Bennett if he expected people at the mosque to eat his bacon sandwiches and be grateful for them.

“Possibly,” Bennett replied. The court had heard that Bennett and his wife had bought the bacon and some bread in a £1 shop in Broadmead the same morning. The barrister for the prosecution, Ian Fenney, asked Bennett: “Did you expect people to eat raw bacon?”

“No,” said Bennett. “Where was the bacon going to be cooked?” asked Mr Fenney.

“It possibly could have been cooked in the mosque. I wouldn’t know, would I?” said Bennett.

He added: “I didn’t know that it was offensive to take bacon to the mosque. If I had known I wouldn’t have taken it. Mr Fenney responded: “I suggest you knew exactly how much offence would be caused by taking raw bacon and that’s why you did it. Why was bacon found on the door handles of the mosque? Because any Muslim entering the mosque would have to touch it.”

Bennett told the court he didn’t know the meaning of the word “jihad”.

The court was also told that in 2008 Crehan racially abused an Asian police officer at Broadbury Road police station, after he was arrested at his home during a domestic disturbance. Crehan said he was high on alcohol and drugs at the time but had since given both up.

Bennett was presented with several Facebook pages, posted in April 2016, in the name Marc Bennet, which contained offensive statements about Muslims and references to a recent attack on a mosque.

Bennett said the pages were not his and suggested they had been created to frame him by left-wing activists. He agreed that he had previously had another Facebook page in the name Mark English.

The four will be sentenced at another hearing on July 22, when the two women will be cross-examined.

The attack on January 17 resulted in an outpouring of support for the Jamia mosque, the oldest in Bristol. Hundreds of people attended an open afternoon the following weekend, and hundreds more pledged their support for the mosque being at the heart of the Totterdown community.

South Bristol Voice

Thomas Johnstone, 29, also reportedly chanted anti-Muslim slogans during a protest organised by the English Defence League

Thomas Johnstone waved an England flag scrawled with 'f*** Islam' across it just 24 hours after Britain voted to leave the EU

Thomas Johnstone waved an England flag scrawled with ‘f*** Islam’ across it just 24 hours after Britain voted to leave the EU

A racist thug waved an England flag scrawled with ‘f*** Islam’ across it – just 24 hours after Britain voted to leave the EU.

Thomas Johnstone also chanted anti-Muslim slogans during an English Defence League protest on Saturday.

The 29-year-old’s chants got louder as Asian drivers or pedestrians passed him while he took part in the demonstration, a court heard.

Around 30 members of the far-right group had gathered outside the Manarat Foundation mosque in Birmingham.

The court heard that on the flag was written ‘no more mosques,’ ‘English ’till I die’ and ‘f*** Islam’.”

Johnstone yesterday admitted two counts of causing religiously aggravated harassment alarm or stress under the Public Order Act at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court.

He also pleaded guilty to obstructing an officer after giving police his brother’s name when arrested.

Johnstone, of Luton, was handed a £400 fine but was told he would not have to pay because of the time he had spent in custody since Saturday.

He remained in custody after being recalled to prison on licence on other matters.

Helen Shipley, prosecuting, said demonstrators were herded by police to one side of the Coventry Road in Birmingham.

Johnstone had a St George’s flag draped around his neck.

Miss Shipley said: “He appeared to film police because he wanted their opinion on a new mosque.

“He removed the flag and was holding it up towards motorists.

“On the flag was written ‘no more mosques’ and ‘English ’till I die’ and ‘f*** Islam’.”

Miss Shipley said Johnstone was also chanting offensive anti-Muslim slogans and got more vocal when Asian drivers or pedestrians passed by.

After being arrested Johnstone gave police the name of his brother but was found out when fingerprint tests revealed his true identity.

Ben Galletti, defending, said Johnstone had been recalled on licence to prison on other matters and was not due for release until June 1 next year.

District Judge Robert Zara fined Johnstone £150 for each of the religiously aggravated offences and £100 for obstructing an officer.

He said: “The maximum penalty for public order offences is only a fine whatever view I may take of your conduct.

“Because you are now a serving prisoner I will deem the time spent in custody since your arrest should serve in default of payment.”

On a Facebook profile page Johnstone appears to be connected to the Coventry branch of the EDL.

A status update from May said: “Before ny1(sic) forms an opinion of what I believe in please google what the EDL fight for.”

Daily Mirror

Three people have admitted a religiously aggravated assault at a mosque in Totterdown.

Mark Bennett, 48, and his wife Alison Bennett, 46, both of Spruce Way in Patchway, appeared alongside Angelina Swailes, 31, of West Town Avenue, Brislington at Bristol Crown Court today.

They pleaded guilty to throwing Bacon sandwiches at elderly worshipers as they entered Jamia Mosque, in January.

A trial was supposed to begin today but the three defendants changed their plea last minute.

Kevin Shaun Crehan, 34, of Stockwood Crescent, Knowle has already pleaded guilty to the charges at Bristol Magistrates Court on February 17.

The trio were released on unconditional bail, ahead of being sentenced later this week.

Bristol Post

A convicted football hooligan has admitted his involvement in an attack where a bacon sandwich was thrown at a Bristol mosque.

Kevin Crehan, 34, of Stockwood Crescent, Knowle, was charged with a racially aggravated public order offence following the incident at Jamia Mosque in Green Street, Totterdown, last month.

In a five minute hearing at Bristol Crown Court he pleaded guilty to the charge, accepting a religiously aggravated offence to cause Nasir Ahmed harassment, alarm or distress.

Judge Martin Picton adjourned his case, pending a probation report, until March 24.

He bailed Crehan on condition he co-operates with the probation service.

Crehan’s bail also prevents him from going on the pavement outside, or within the boundaries of, any mosque in England and Wales.

The judge told him: “You have to understand this case carries custody.”.

On Sunday, January 17, a flag was said to be hung on a fence outside the mosque stating: “No mosque wanted here” and “Bristol United Patriots”.

Elderly worshippers attending the mosque were abused and bacon was thrown.

Self-styled anti-Muslim group, Bristol United Patriots, operate across the city but have publicly denied having anything to do with the attack.

It is not Crehan’s first brush with the law, which has included assaulting a police officer.

In 2010 he was sentenced to seven months in prison for breaching a three year football banning order.

At the time Bristol Crown Court heard the then 28-year-old was caught with a sawn-off pool cue down his trousers.

Crehan admitted four breaches which included failing to report to a police station during the World Cup and being inside an exclusion zone before a Bristol City versus Milwall match.

The court heard he had been banned from being within a mile of Bristol City’s Ashton Gate ground.

Crehan pleaded guilty to having an offensive weapon and stealing a DVD.

Regarding the mosque attack Alison Bennett, 46, Mark Bennett, 48, both of Spruce Way, Patchway and Angelina Swailes, 31, of West Town Avenue, Brislington have all been charged with a racially aggravated public order offence.

The Bennetts and Swailes have been released on bail with a condition not to enter or go within 100 metres of any mosque.

They are due to appear at Bristol Magistrates’ Court on February 25.

Bristol Post

BC 1

BC 2

BC

Magistrates expressed surprise that no-one else was charged alongside Keith Edward Hall, 38, of Bath Street, Rhyl

Keith Hill

A man has been given a suspended prison sentence for a firework attack on a mosque.

Magistrates saw video footage which showed Keith Edward Hall twice approaching the Islamic Centre in Rhyl, lighting the fireworks and pushing them through the letterbox on November 11.

In the background, a man and woman could be heard laughing and shouting: “Hurry up.”

Having seen the film, Prestatyn magistrates expressed surprise that no-one else has been charged in connection with the attack.

Hall, 38, of Bath Street, Rhyl, had pleaded guilty to religiously aggravated criminal damage at the centre in Water Street.

In the footage, filmed from the doorway of the Bow Bar opposite, Hall was seen approaching the mosque twice in 20 minutes.

In a victim impact statement, Rafiq Ullah, the centre’s treasurer, said the damage could have been much greater had they not taken measures to improve fire safety after a previous incident.

He said people could easily have been injured as the prayer room was behind the door.

The incident occurred only two days before the Paris shootings, and Mr Ullah said tension at the mosque was high in that period. It eased when Hall was arrested.

When interviewed, Hall said he could remember very little about the incident because he had drunk eight litres of cider and eight shorts.

He woke up the following morning with a sore arm where part of the letterbox surround had hit him when it was blown off.

He denied being a racist and claimed to have several friends from ethnic minorities.

Alex Fitzgerald, representing Hall, said he found it “astonishing” that no-one else had been charged even though they were interviewed.

Mr Fitzgerald told the court that Hall did not even realise that the building was a mosque.

“It was not born out of a deep-seated hate of the Muslim community, but was an act of utter stupidity,” he said.

“He is embarrassed at his stupidity and wishes to apologise. Alcohol affects his thinking and his behaviour.”

Hall was given a 16-week prison sentence suspended for 12 months, and must also observe a 7pm-7am curfew and attend a six-month alcohol treatment course and 25 days of rehabilitation.

He was also ordered to pay compensation of £558, costs of £300 and a surcharge of £80.

The Bench made a restraining order prohibiting him from entering Water Street for 12 months.

Daily Post

KH 1

KH 2

KH 3

KH 4

KH 5

A TEENAGE woman and a man have been found guilty of throwing bacon into Central Mosque and wrapping it round the door handles.

Chelsea Lambie, 18, from Paisley, and 38-year-old Douglas Cruikshank from Galashiels carried out the early morning attack in January last year.

Cruikshank originally denied the charge, but changed his plea after the Crown dropped its claim that the offence was racially aggravated.

A jury took just over an hour to return a majority verdict of guilty on Lambie.

She was found guilty of behaving in a threatening or abusive manner likely to cause fear and alarm.

Sentence was deferred until May 23.

Edinburgh Evening News

Lambie also has a conviction for this a couple of years ago.
https://edlcriminals.com/2013/07/19/ned-fined-for-racist-outburst/