A 17-year-old from Oadby in Leicestershire has pleaded guilty to two charges of racially-aggravated criminal damage for leaving graffiti outside a Oadby Central Mosque.
The teenager scrawled “EDL” on a charity bin outside the mosque and on the building’s windows on two separate occasions.
The graffiti appeared in the aftermath of the murder of Lee Rigby in London and at the hieght of fears about a racist backlash. In a statement read out in court, Muhammed Katib, chairman of the mosque, which is also a community centre, told how Muslims were in fear of being attacked.
According to the Leicester Mercury,
[Katib] said: “This really rang alarm bells.”
After the killing of Mr Rigby, mosques had been set on fire.
“We were on red alert and very concerned about what had happened,” said Mr Katib.
“We were fearful that the mosque would be damaged or set on fire or people would be attacked.”
Mr Katib told how the mosque was watched 24 hours a day for a while, and worshippers stayed away for fear of being targeted.
The teenager, who cannot be named because of his age (although we’ll keep an eye on teh interwebs in case he’s stupid enough to identify himself on Facebook) clearly isn’t very bright and was arrested after police identified his tag on the graffiti. When police raided his home, they found pens which matched the colour of the graffiti on the bin.
When arrested, the teenager said that he had heard about the Rigby murder and did not like it.
Now (unsurprisingly) he has expressed regret for his actions, saying “I am sorry if I caused any grief or fear or anything.”
He was given a 12-month rehabilitation order with supervision. He will be electronically tagged for two months and must observe a curfew between 9pm and 7am every day.