Saturday, June 25 2016

Former soldier sentenced for pig's head attack on Cheltenham mosque

There is widespread coverage (Guardian, BBC, Sky, ITV and the Gloucestershire Echo) in the media on the sentencing of Simon Parkes to four months for committing an act of racially or religiously aggravated criminal damage.

Parkes tied a severed pig’s head to the gates of the Masjidul Falah mosque in Cheltenham and sprayed racist graffiti on its walls.

From Sky News:

“Simon Parkes was accused of causing racially or religiously aggravated criminal damage, and of a public order offence, in July.

“The 45-year-old, of Crown Close, Bishop's Cleeve, pleaded guilty to the charges at Cheltenham Magistrates' Court earlier this month.

“A spokesman from Cheltenham Mosque said: "This was a very shocking incident for the whole community - Muslim and non-Muslim alike.

"We would like to reiterate our thanks to the police, the council and the local neighbours for their tremendous support.

"The damage was dealt with very quickly in order for normality to be achieved and we have left the rest to the authorities and the justice system to deal with.''

“Cheltenham South Policing Inspector Tim Waterhouse said: "I hope this sentence sends out a clear message that this sort of appalling criminal behaviour will not be tolerated.

"Although this disturbing incident happened nearly two years ago a painstaking and difficult inquiry has led to today's sentencing.

"The message is clear that we will not stop in our determination to target criminals and keep people and our communities safe from harm."”

Islamophobia Watch adds that Parkes “had written the word Allah on the pig's head”.

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