Teenager admits racist graffiti near mosque.
Laura Woodward, A teenager spray-painted racist graffiti near a mosque and daubed the names Saddam Hussein and Bin Laden on flats during a booze-fuelled spree.
Laura Woodward, 19 of Byron Road, Addlestone, admitted four counts of racially and religious aggravated criminal damage and two of criminal damage.
Woodward, appearing before Guildford magistrates last Thursday, also admitted racially aggravated damage to the front door of an Asian man whom she knew.
Nick Wilson, prosecuting, told the court that Woodward and another girl bought spray paint from Hobbycraft in Woking on November 12 last year when they “commenced these acts of criminal damage”.
The court was told that Woodward sprayed her name and either the number four or a cross in the ladies’ cloakroom at Hobbycraft.
The pair then headed towards the Shah Jahan Mosque, where they painted racist words on a nearby wall in Oriental Road, mis-spelling England as they did so.
It cost almost £1,000 to remove the offensive material.
The public wall of the car park belonging to the same company was also sullied with racist graffiti, which the court heard will cost £344 to put right.
A silver Seat Alhambra car was vandalised with pink spray paint, costing the owner £15 to wash off.
The names Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein were daubed on the public wall of Walton Court flats and the letters EDL – an acronym for the English Defence League – were scrawled across the public wall and windows of business units 14 and 18 Boundary Way.
Nick Wilson, prosecuting, said the additional charge was in relation to graffiti on the Asian man’s house door.
“He treated her as his first girlfriend,” Mr Wilson said.
“He went to work and came home to find his house had been treated in this way. They were friends and this is what she did.”
The court heard that it would cost £1,500 for a new door.
Chris McGlinchey, defending, said: “She was, as you may have gathered, substantially drunk.
“The bulk of her offences were when she was using drink.”
Mr McGlinchey added: “She fully accepts that these offences will have caused a great deal of offence and she has developed a degree of empathy as a result.
“She is now in work and it is fair to say she has taken steps on her own part to reduce her drinking. She has asked me to make an apology on her behalf, which you may take with a pinch of salt but the apology is heartfelt.
“She has engaged with people of that community since. She does not see herself as being a racist.”
District Judge Workman said he had considered sending Woodward to a young offenders’ institution but instead decided on a community order.
He warned her: “I must make it clear – if you break the order, that is where you are going to end up.”
Woodward was sentenced to a 12-month community order plus 100 hours of unpaid work.
She must also pay damages of £100 to the mosque and £400 for the damaged door.
District Judge Workman said: “The unpaid work is to at least give something back to the community.
“All graffiti is offensive but when it is racially aggravated, it is particularly offensive.”