Man threatened to set fire to Wrexham mosque

A MAN was abusive and threatening to two British Muslims outside Wrexham’s new mosque and threatened to burn it down.

David Jared Evans, 36, sent texts to people suggesting a visit to the mosque in the former Miner’s Institute and a demonstration and said flare throwers made “good legal weapons”.

Evans received a suspended sentence after he admitted using threatening, abusive and insulting language and behaviour towards Abdulla Anwar which was racially and religiously aggravated. He had a similar previous conviction in 2006 after he abused a black woman.

Judge Niclas Parry, sitting at Mold Crown Court, said North Wales was becoming a cosmopolitan area and the courts would do everything they could to ensure people lived in harmony.

The judge said Mr Anwar and a colleague had approached Evans outside the mosque and offered him help.

“For that, they were subjected to a torrent of disgraceful abuse,” the judge said.

The comments were religiously and racially aggravated, persistent and escalated to threats of violence.

“Wrexham is a cosmopolitan town,” he said. “North Wales is becoming a cosmopolitan area.

“The courts will do everything they can to ensure people live in harmony in a cosmopolitan society.

The comments Evans had made generated hatred which had to be stamped out.

“You come into this case as a racist individual,” said the judge, but he was prepared to accept Evans had changed following his experiences in custody.

“Your future behaviour will show if I am right,” Judge Parry told him.

A prison sentence was inevitable but the judge took into account Evans had already served the equivalent of a six month sentence on remand.

He had pleaded guilty and rather than sending him back into custody for what could only be a matter of weeks he believed it would be better to tackle his “intransigent attitudes”.

Evans, of High Street, Rhos, received a 36 week prison sentence, suspended for a year.

He must carry out 200 hours unpaid work and attend an offending behaviour programme run by the probation service specifically to address his racially motivated behaviour.

“I think that will benefit you,” the judge told him.

Evans was also made subject of a two month 7pm-7am curfew at weekends and Judge Parry told him to pay £500 towards prosecution costs and £150 compensation to Mr Anwar.

A restraining order was made which bans him from going to the mosque or approaching Mr Anwar.

Elizabeth Bell, prosecuting, said on September 10 Evans was taking photographs of the former Miner’s Institute in Grosvenor Road, which had been bought by Wrexham Muslim Association and turned into a mosque.

He saw the two men outside and said to them: “This is a disgrace, you using this place. You’re probably just making your bombs here.”

Evans then used a racist term and asked them why they did not go home. Both men had been born in the United Kingdom.

Mr Anwar, who was left feeling frustrated and distressed, took a photograph of Evans and the defendant did likewise.

When Mr Anwar refused to give Evans his name, he said: “I will be back with my friends. We will give you a good seeing to,” and before leaving threatened to set the place on fire.

Arrested the following day, pictures of the mosque were found on his mobile phone along with a racist song.

A text message was found which he had sent to another man asking him if he was “up for a visit to the mosque tonight?” Another asked a third man if he wanted to join in a demo against the mosque.

One text made reference to a flame thrower making a great legal weapon.

Interviewed, he denied the offence and made no comment when questioned about the text messages.

Evans pleaded guilty after asking the court for a sentencing indication.

Andrew Green, defending, said Evans now realised it was a deeply unpleasant incident.

He had been disciplined in work but as far as he was aware his job was still available to him.

The Leader

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