Monday, May 30 2016

Man sentenced for attack on mosque worshippers

The Leicester Mercury has reported on the sentencing of a man who waved a knife and hurled abuse at worshippers outside a London mosque. The judge handing down the sentence said it was ‘remarkable’ that the Crown Prosecution Service did not prosecute the crime as racially aggravated given that the defendant accosted the men outside a mosque and snarled "Where's Allah to protect you now?''

From the local paper:

“A judge has slammed prosecutors for failing to charge a knifeman with racism after he screamed vile abuse at worshippers outside a mosque.

“Jonathan Russell (32) waved a blade at two men on their way to prayers before snarling: "Where's Allah to protect you now?''

“Crown Prosecution Service lawyers decided not to class the crime as racially-motivated because they said he was "commenting generally''.

“Russell…admitted theft, possessing an offensive weapon and threatening behaviour, and was sentenced for the offences at Westminster Magistrates' Court yesterday.

“Passing sentence, District Judge Elizabeth Roscoe demanded an explanation from the CPS, saying: "It's remarkable that it wasn't racially-aggravated. This was just outside a mosque."

Russell was jailed for 50 weeks for the incident which took place outside Regents Park mosque on 14th August and during Ramadan.

Mosques and those making their way to perform their daily prayers at them have increasingly been targets of racially and religiously aggravated abuse and assault. In a similar incident, a man has been charged with racially aggravated threatening or abusive behaviour and carrying a knife for an incident that happened last month at the Glasgow Central Mosque in Scotland during a children’s Qur’an competition.

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