||The Northampton Chronicle and Echo reports on the guilty verdict passed on an EDL member who threatened a Muslim taxi driver because of his religion. Charles Dickie, will be sentenced at a later date for committing a religiously aggravated offence.
From the local paper:
“A man who claims to be a member of the English Defence League has been found guilty of threatening a Muslim taxi driver because of his religion, after “refusing” to attend court to mount a defence to the charge.
“Charles Dickie, aged 23, was due to appear before magistrates in Northampton yesterday to stand trial over an incident in Daventry earlier this month, but he would not get into a prison van to transport him to the hearing, the court heard.
“After hearing the case in his absence, chair of the bench, Mabel Lilley, found the case against Dickie proved, and said the magistrates were minded to impose a 20-week prison sentence when Dickie could be brought before the court.
“Taxi driver Sultan Ahmed said he had worked in Daventry for the past three-and-a-half years. He said that on Friday, March 2, he had been waiting for a customer in Brook Street at about 4.30pm when he was approached by Dickie.
“Speaking through an interpreter, he said: “He said we are here, all over this place, in this country, and you are not welcome here.”
“Dickie then sang a song insulting both Islam and Mr Ahmed and uttered expletives, before moving in closer and pointing to his genitals.
“Mr Ahmed said: “He looked very angry and aggressive. He looked as if he was about to fight with me.”
“Giovanni D’Alessandro, prosecuting, said Dickie had told police officers when arrested: “I’m not racist. I don’t like Muslims.”
“He also talked continuously about the EDL and made threats towards a planned mosque in Daventry, the court was told.
“Magistrates heard Dickie, of Tennyson Road, in Daventry, was previously convicted of making racially-aggravated threats in 2007, and they were shown evidence from his Facebook site to support the prosecution case.
“In a statement to the court, Mr Ahmed said he had been “deeply upset and hurt” by Dickie’s actions, adding: “I can’t understand why Mr Dickie felt the way he did, to voice such hatred.”
Islamophobia Watch points to one of the comments on Dickie’s Facebook page which appears to incite murder and questions why Dickie had not been charged as such.
The Institute of Race Relations in December reported on a mass strike threatened by taxi drivers in Cardiff in protest against the “routine racist abuse and violence” they face in their jobs and the “indifference by the police and local council” to their plight.
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