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‘It was pre-meditated, it was determined, it was deeply unpleasant, and it was part of a campaign by you and your associates to tar all Muslims as Islamists’

Tim Burton outside Southwark Crown Court before the start of his trial for racially aggravated harassment Rex

Tim Burton outside Southwark Crown Court before the start of his trial for racially aggravated harassment Rex

A right-wing radio host who trolled an anti-hate crime campaigner with “Islamophobic” tweets and emails has been jailed for 12 weeks.

Timothy Burton, 64, branded Islam a “backwards, misogynistic, seventh-century” ideology in a series of emails to Tell Mama founder Fiyaz Mughal OBE between 4 April and 26 April 2016.

Burton also sent Mr Mughal links to far-right blogs containing “vile slurs” against Muslims including a petition called “renounce, reform, or get the hell out of my country”.

The radio presenter for the anti-immigration group Liberty GB was convicted of one count of religiously aggravated harassment in March following a week-long trial at Southwark Crown Court.

Burton, who says he has resigned from the group following his conviction, had denied the charge and claimed he was exercising his right to free speech.

He said he insulted Mr Mughal after reading articles suggesting Tell Mama had exaggerated figures about anti-Muslim incidents.

Mr Mughal said in a statement: “The defendant’s actions have led to endless nights of anxiety and fear and a sense of being targeted to my core.”

Judge Alex Gordon said Burton had been on a campaign to tar all Muslims as violent extremists as he jailed him for 12 weeks at Inner London Crown Court on Friday.

He said: “The defendant was found guilty by jury following a trial in March of religiously aggravated harassment.

“He sent a series of grossly offensive emails to Tell Mama with the obvious intention that they would be, as they were, received by Mr Mughal.

“Not only were these emails offensive, they provided links to deeply offensive material involving a petition called ‘renounce, reform, of get the hell out of my country’.

“He also linked to articles with vile slurs to Mr Mughal.

“He was broadcasting the harassment to the world.”

The judge said the emails “continued after the defendant was asked to stop sending them, and after it was threatened that he would be reported to the police”.

He continued: “It was obvious that these emails were designed, carefully designed to harass Mr Mughal by causing him distress.

“Your extreme antipathy towards Muslims is what led you to harass Mr Mughal.

“You are seemingly incapable of distinguishing between Muslims and violent Islamists. Your offending behaviour was obviously motivated by a religious hostility and aggravated the harassment.

“You were at the time, [though you have] apparently now resigned, a member of a group Liberty GB which promotes antipathy based on religious adherence.

“It was pre-meditated, it was determined, it was deeply unpleasant, and it was part of a campaign by you and your associates to tar all Muslims as Islamists.”

Judge Gordon accepted that Burton had “expressed some limited remorse”.

Burton was previously cleared of racially aggravated harassment in 2014 after calling Mr Mughal a “mendacious grievance-mongering taqqiya artist” and a “Muslim scumbag” on Twitter.

He told him Liberty GB members “raised a glass in your honour, and toasted you with a bacon sandwich” in an email referencing the second anniversary of his acquittal on 26 April 2016.

Jurors were told the obscure theological term “taqqiya” provides persecuted Shia Muslims with an option to deny their faith “if their life is at stake”.

Mr Mughal said far-right extremists use the term to “blacken all Muslims”.

He told the trial: “Within far-right circles they say don’t trust Muslims because ‘taqqiya’ means they will lie – one to spread Islam, two to take over the state by insidious means, and three to promote Sharia.”

Judge Gordon jailed Burton for 12 weeks and imposed a restraining order barring him from contacting Fiyaz Mughal, Faith Matters, Tell Mama, or any employee of those groups.

He added: “A breach of that order is quite rightly taken by the courts as an extremely important matter and may well result in a custodial sentence.”

The Independent

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

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

Darren Mark Lumb, who has previous links to the BNP and EDL, verbally attacked the MP in January this year in West Yorkshire

A constituent has pleaded guilty to mounting an antisemitic verbal attack against Labour MP and shadow communities secretary Jon Trickett.

On 23 January 2015, Darren Mark Lumb, 47, stopped the the MP for Hemsworth in West Yorkshire in the street and launched into an antisemitic tirade against him.

During the trial on Thursday at Leeds crown court, Lumb changed his plea to guilty to one count of religiously aggravated harassment and stalking with fear of violence, and one count of breaching an asbo.

umb – who has been known to Trickett’s office for a decade – was released on bail on the condition that he did not approach the MP or any member of his staff and he will return to court on 3 March for sentencing.

Lumb has previously had links to the British National Party (BNP), the English Defence League (EDL) and the National Front, and served as BNP organiser for Wakefield and later West Yorkshire.

He has previous convictions for assault and disorder and was convicted in 2011 of using racially aggravated threatening or insulting words and behaviour after he reportedly called a petrol station worker “a black bastard”.

Lumb, who lives in South Elmsall, stood as a BNP candidate for South Elmsall and South Kirkby in the Wakefield Metropolitan district council election in 2011, where he won 441 votes, 2.6% below the Conservative candidate.

A friend of Trickett’s said the MP had been left shocked and shaken by the incident and that “he hasn’t experienced rage like it in his life”.

Jon Trickett has been MP for Hemsworth since 1996. He served as the parliamentary private secretary to prime minister Gordon Brown from 2008 to 2010 and was then promoted to the shadow cabinet by Ed Miliband in 2011.

Trickett was one of 36 MPs to nominate Jeremy Corbyn in the Labour leadership election and was made shadow secretary of state for communities and local government in the shadow cabinet reshuffle following Corbyn’s landslide victory in September 2015.

The Guardian

Darren Stokoe and Stephen Brown leaving Sunderland Magistrates' Court after pleading guilty to offences commited at an anti-mosque protest in Millfield, Sunderland

Darren Stokoe and Stephen Brown leaving Sunderland Magistrates’ Court after pleading guilty to offences commited at an anti-mosque protest in Millfield, Sunderland

SIX men have admitted charges after left and right-wing groups clashed at a demonstration in Sunderland.

They were arrested following a protest against plans to covert a former council depot in Millfield into a mosque.

Prosecutor Glenda Beck told Sunderland magistrates that demonstration began at 12.30pm on October 6, with both sides shouting at each other.

“The right-wing group was the most hostile,” she said. “Trying on several occasions to breach the police line to get at the left-wing demonstrators.

“The demonstration lasted about one hour before both groups moved away.”

Three Wearsiders were arrested following the clash.

Stephen George Brown, 32, of Palmerston Road in Pennywell, admitted a public order offence and religiously-aggravated harassment.

Mrs Beck said that at about 3pm, after the main demo had ended, he drew his first back and ran at a group of between 30 to 40 Asian men in Stewart Street.

He was charged with the second offence in November, after police viewed CCTV from the incident and heard him using anti-Muslim abuse.

Defending, Heather Bolton said Brown had friends and family living near the site of the mosque and he had aired his concerns about it at public meetings.

She added: “Both groups were chanting at each other and it appears that the other group made threats of violence and were making gestures of throat cutting.

“He accepts that he did retaliate in reaction to that and did make a comment in relation to Allah.”

Darren Stokoe, from Patrick Road, Pennywell, also pleaded guilty to a public order offence.

Mrs Beck said he was spotted by officers throwing an object at supporters of the mosque.

Mitigating, Mrs Bolton said Stokoe had been drinking in Millfield, came across the demonstration and decided to join in.

“He cannot recall throwing any object,” she added. “But accepts that he has.”

Both cases were adjourned for sentencing until April for Probation Service reports.

Anthony Farrer, 37, of Cleveland Road, was given a six-month conditional discharge after admitting throwing an egg at anti-fascists.

Also involved was Ronald Wood, 39, of Lonnen Drive in Swalwell, Gateshead, who was fined £110 after admitting racially-aggravated harassment.

Dean Spence, 23, of Yew Close, Spennymoor, admitted disorderly conduct, but denied throwing a firework, and was fined £73.

Shaun Bunting, 34, of Fenhall Green, Newton Aycliffe, was fined £133 after refusing to comply with a police notice to leave the area.

His solicitor, Jason Smith, said the offence took place outside The Chesters pub after the protest.

l Three men yesterday denied charges against them relating to the protests.

Simon Bigg, 47, of Todd’s Nook, Elswick, Newcastle; and William Smith, 44, of McLurian Crescent, Renfrewshire, Scotland, will stand trial in May accused of committing a public order offence.

Gary Biggar, 41, of Clarke Street, Kilmarnock, Scotland, denied racially-aggravated harassment and was released on bail until May.

Sunderland Echo

Liam Ferrar outside Leicester Magistrates Court, where he was sentenced for leaving a pig's head on the steps of a Muslim community centre

Liam Ferrar outside Leicester Magistrates Court, where he was sentenced for leaving a pig’s head on the steps of a Muslim community centre


Liam Ferrar, 24, admitted leaving the frozen head outside a Muslim community centre in Leicester on Boxing Day last year

An office worker who left a pig’s head on the steps of a Muslim place of worship has been spared a jail sentence.

Liam Ferrar, 24, admitted leaving the frozen head outside a Muslim community centre in Leicester on Boxing Day last year, in a religiously motivated attack.

Ferrar, of Brook Road, Leicester, pleaded guilty last month to causing religiously aggravated harassment by leaving the frozen pig’s head on the steps of the city’s Thurnby Lodge Community Centre.

He was sentenced to 12 weeks’ imprisonment, suspended for a year, after the court heard he had written a letter of apology to his victims and was disgusted by his actions.

Sentencing Ferrar at Leicester Magistrates’ Court, District Judge John Temperley described the offence as being “to some extent planned, premeditated and targeted”.

The district judge told Ferrar: “You were well aware of the significance of your actions.

“You knew that what you did would cause great distress, indeed that was your intention.”

The court heard that Ferrar was under the influence of alcohol when he placed the pig’s head – which had been stored in a freezer for several months – in an area where it could not be avoided by adults and children arriving for prayers.

Stressing that the offence had taken place against a background of protests at the community centre’s use as a place-of-worship, District Judge Temperley added: “It is easy to imagine the shock, distress and disgust (those who discovered the pig’s head) would have felt.

“The witnesses statements I have read bear testimony to the serious impact of your actions, but the harm you caused goes further.

“Others in the local community and beyond would also have been affected when news of this incident spread, prompting profound alarm, fear and insecurity.

“It should have been obvious that what you did was intimidatory and would only serve to enflame an already tense and volatile situation.”

Suspending the 12-week prison term because of Ferrar’s personal mitigation, including his previous good character, the district judge accepted that the defendant regularly gave his time and energy to local good causes.

District Judge Temperley told Ferrar, who was also ordered to complete 250 hours of unpaid community work and pay £85 in costs: “The character references I have read do you great credit.

“I also accept that you have demonstrated genuine remorse and regret for your actions. You co-operated with the police and pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity.”

Louise Cox, prosecuting, told the court a group calling itself Forgotten Estates had stepped up protests at the community centre last summer.

Defence solicitor Stephen Morris said the protest group, of which Ferrar was a member, aimed to highlight the lack of facilities in the Thurnby Lodge area.

Claiming that his client had chosen to distance himself from Forgotten Estates in September last year, Mr Morris said: “The behaviour by Mr Ferrar on this occasion is out of character – he is not somebody who displays racist tendencies.”

The Independent

Andrew Ryan photo

A Carlisle man who burnt the Koran in the city centre could be facing up to two years in jail.

Andrew Ryan, who claims to be a member of the English Defence League, appeared at Carlisle Magistrates’ Court today.

He pleaded guilty to religiously aggravated harassment and theft – of the Koran from Carlisle Library.

The court heard he had burnt the Koran on January 19 because for the Muslims, the book is their ‘Holiest of Holy.’

He said he had been viewing internet clips of extremist Islamic preachers and protesters earlier in the day then ‘lost it’.

Ryan, 32, of Summerhill, went to the library and booked out a copy of the Koran using a card he had only applied for the day before.

He then went to the monument on English Street and in front of shocked witnesses started shouting abuse about the Muslim faith.

One of them was his former probation officer.

Ryan managed to set fire to the book on his second attempt, after a friend passed him a lighter, then threw it on the ground and walked away.

After arrest he told police that he knew his actions were likely to stir up religious aggravation.

He also spoke of ‘Asian gangs’ and his anger at Islam.

Ryan has a number of previous convictions for public order offences and assault.

Defence solicitor Lauren Heesley said he was protesting against Muslim extremists not Islam as a faith.

She told the court that he did not judge people by their race, religion or sexual orientation.

Ms Heesley claimed that his conviction for racially abusive chanting at a football match had been a misunderstanding.

She said he had been shouting abuse at the referee, as ‘the man in black’, rather than a player.

At this point Ryan started sniggering and his supporters in the public gallery openly laughed.

Ms Heesley said Ryan has a military background which he is proud of, so images of extremist Muslim protesters burning poppies had made him want to take revenge.

The case was adjourned until April 14 for pre-sentencing reports and Ryan was granted bail.

Magistrates did not discuss what punishment they were considering imposing but the offence carries a maximum sentence of two years in prison.

As he left the courtroom, Ryan punched the air and said ‘no surrender’ to cheers from his supporters.

Cumberland News