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Clive Ceronne (l) and Ashley Juggins (r) were sentenced at Gloucester Crown Court

Two men who set fire to a Gloucester mosque were former members of the EDL, a court heard.

Clive Michael Ceronne, 37, from Gloucester, and Ashley Henry Juggins, 21, from Cheltenham, had both been on the controversial group’s marches prior to starting the blaze at the Masjid-E-Noor in the city’s Ryecroft Street. Gloucester Crown Court heard today the pair had been driving around and shouting abuse at Muslims on the evening before the arson.

Ceronne was jailed for four-and-a-half years and Juggins for three-and-a-half for the arson.

Prosecutor Peter Coombes told the court the pair had stopped at a garage on London Road, Gloucester at midnight on June 18. They bought vodka, Carling, a petrol can and fuel before targeting the mosque and causing £3,200 of damage.

CCTV showed a car pull up outside the mosque, where evening prayers had finished just an hour earlier, before Juggins, of Brooklyn Road in Cheltenham poured petrol on the step. He then lit a rag before the fuel went up, leaving neighbours and a mystery passer-by having to extinguish the blaze minutes later. Mr Coombes told the court: “It is only though the intervention of the unknown man that the fire did not take hold. It was burning for three to four minutes.”

Ceronne, a former security guard of Redwood Close, Gloucester was arrested later that evening, while Juggins was still a passenger in his Peugeot, on suspicion of drink driving and when he failed to supply a specimen for breath analysis. Hours later Juggins was later stopped in Barton Gate after police officers thought he had thrown something in a road and he gave them the fake name of Bob Marley.

Mr Coombes said in interview Juggins said he and Ceronne had spent the evening before “shouting abuse at Muslims” as Ceronne “did not like Muslims”.

The prosecutor said: “Ceronne used to work for P&L Security and was posted to Hester’s Way Library where they met. “His previous employer said Juggins told people that Ceronne had taken him to an EDL rally and had expressed anti-Muslim views to his boss, but also said he had changed his views now.”

He added research showed his name and address on the British Union of Fascists, a group that styles itself on the organisation banned in the 1940s. On the New British Union website he claimed to have been involved in “far right cults, including the EDL” and was listed as the Gloucestershire district officer for the organisation.

His home was searched and notes about Sharia law being “diatribe” and others stating “EDL forever were found. But defending Joe Maloney said: “He has had time to reflect on his beliefs, which is not to say he will change his beliefs, drastically overnight.”

Defending Dermot Clarke said Juggins was first introduced to the EDL marches four years ago, but had stopped taking part in them. He said:

“He left after two years, because in his own words he describes the meetings as degenerating into no more than throwing things at the police, however he remained in contact with Ceronne. I would be doing him a disservice if I did not mention the influence. He was unemployed, lacking sophistication and befriended by an older man that perhaps had an agenda.”

Both pleaded guilty to arson being reckless as to whether life was endangered.

The arson came in the wake of the death of Drummer Lee Rigby, who was killed on May 22 in what is believed to have been an Islamic terrorist attack.

Gloucestershire Echo


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The attack happened days after an open day was held at the mosque to welcome local people

The attack happened days after an open day was held at the mosque to welcome local people

Two men have pleaded guilty to an arson attack on a mosque in Gloucester in June.

Petrol was poured around the door of the Masjid-E-Noor mosque on Ryecroft Street and set on fire in the attack.

Clive Ceronne, 37, of Redwood Close, Gloucester, and Ashley Juggins, 20, of Brooklyn Road, Cheltenham admitted arson with reckless endangerment to life at Gloucester Crown Court.

The pair are due to be sentenced on 18 November.

The attack happened days after an open day was held at the mosque to welcome local people.

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James Everley, James Smith and Joshua Morris were sentenced to three years for the arson attack

James Everley, James Smith and Joshua Morris were sentenced to three years for the arson attack

Three men have been sentenced for an arson attack on a newly-renovated mosque in West Sussex.

James Everley, 20, of Crawley, James Smith, 20, of Burgess Hill, and Joshua Morris, 20, of Haywards Heath, were all sentenced to three years at a young offenders institute.

The fire at the mosque in Wivelsfield Road, Haywards Heath, was started at about 02:10 GMT on 13 February.

Police believe the attack was a religiously-aggravated hate crime.

The men had pleaded guilty at Hove Crown Court to arson, theft of paraffin and a public order offence, which involved racially or religiously aggravated fear of violence.

Ch Insp Jon Hull, district commander for Mid Sussex, said: “The mosque was occupied at the time this fire was started and it could have had devastating consequences if it hadn’t been put out quickly.

“Thankfully only damage was caused to the building.

“Everyone who lives, works or visits Sussex has a right to go about their lives without becoming the victim of a hate crime because of their disability, race, religious beliefs, sexual orientation or gender identity.”

The mosque had been renovated and had reopened three months before the attack

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Simon Beech and Garreth Foster denied setting fire to the mosque

Simon Beech and Garreth Foster denied setting fire to the mosque

Two men have each been sentenced to 10 years in prison after being found guilty of deliberately setting fire to a Stoke-on-Trent mosque.

Ex-soldier Simon Beech, 23, and Garreth Foster, 29, both from Stoke, were found guilty of setting fire to Hanley’s Regent Road mosque on 3 December.

The pair had denied committing arson with intent to endanger life.

Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court heard it was in revenge for Muslim extremists burning poppies on Armistice Day.

Beech told the court during the four-day trial that he had been a member of the English Defence League and the British National Party. But he said he was not racist and did not believe his views to be extreme.

‘Nuke all mosques’

Paul Spratt, prosecuting, told the jury of five men and seven women that police had been able to establish that Beech “felt very strongly about Muslims” after accessing his Facebook account.

“He found persons through Facebook who had like-minded views. One observation he plainly agreed with was ‘Nuke All Mosques’.”

The mosque, which was partially built at the time of the fire, had not been fitted out

The jury heard that one of Beech’s online comments read: “The time has come. They burn our poppies, we burn their place. Burn the lot of them out.”

Beech told jurors his views were not aimed at the whole Muslim community but at extremist individuals.

When giving evidence in his defence Foster told the court: “I have always personally got on well with Muslims.

“Throughout all my schools I have always had Asian friends.”

The pair both denied running a pipe into the building from a nearby gas meter in a bid to spark an explosion at the mosque, which suffered about £50,000 damage as a result of the fire.

Community ‘dignified’

Speaking after the verdicts were delivered, Rana Tufail, a member of the mosque committee, said it was “difficult” to describe the arson attack.

He said: “It is a community project.

“They have put their soul into it. They have put their earnings into it and they [Beech and Foster] tried to destroy it.

“We are happy that it’s still standing.”

Ch Supt Bernie O’Rielly, from Staffordshire Police, added that he had no doubts that the pair’s intention was to “blow the mosque up”.

“Without doubt that would have caused hate in the community, division in the community and broken down all the cohesion and good work we do,” he said.

“The community around this area have been an absolute credit. They’ve acted with such restraint and so dignified in the face of such provocation.”

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