A 17-YEAR-OLD youth has been ordered to carry out 100 hours of unpaid community work after carrying out a religiously aggravated attack on a police officer.
The Cherry Willingham youth, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was previously found guilty of assaulting off-duty Muslim police officer PC Rizwaan Chothia by Lincoln magistrates following a two-day trial held earlier this month.
He faced trial alongside Daniel Odling, 26, of High Street, Blyton, near Gainsborough, who was found guilty of religiously aggravated threatening behaviour and fined £450 and ordered to pay £500 costs plus a £15 victims’ surcharge.
During the trail, the court heard how a group of six or seven men entered the Grandstand on Carholme Road, where 30 to 40 Muslims were gathered for a meeting on July 9 last year, and behaved in a threatening manner.
The meeting was held to identify a site for a new place of worship after the Lincoln Islamic Association’s application for a mosque in Boultham Park Road was rejected.
Magistrates were told the uninvited group turned up following publicity about the event, and used profane and blasphemous language against the Muslim community members who were gathered.
Jane Loader, prosecuting, said: “Some of the men entered the meeting hall and were abusive to members of the Muslim community.
“The males and some attendees at the meeting then went outside and a confrontation took place. The 17-year-old youth approached PC Chothia and said ‘come on then’ while gesturing with his hands.
“He was trying to antagonise him and provoke a reaction but PC Chothia did not respond.
“The youth swung his right arm, making contact with PC Chothia’s face in a punch-come-slap motion.
“Again, PC Chothia did not respond.”
The court heard that PC Chothia was uninjured in the attack but alarmed and distressed by the group’s intrusion and blasphemy.
He had recognised the 17-year-old youth, who has no previous convictions, from a photograph at the police station.
In mitigation, magistrates were told the youth deeply regretted going to the meeting.
Sunil Khanna, defending, said: “He lashed out but it is accepted no injury was caused.
“He never used any blasphemous language or comments about Islam.
“This incident occurred because he followed other people and was led down the wrong path but he has now come a long way from the views he held a year ago.”
Chairman of the bench Hefina Brumpton gave the youth a 12-month youth rehabilitation order and a 12-month supervision order.
He was ordered to carry out 100 hours of unpaid community work pay £100 costs.