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Georgina Gontar, 20, of Old Woking, pleaded guilty to a breach of an Asbo, four offences of racially aggravated criminal damage and two of causing criminal damage when she appeared at Guildford Magistrates’ Court last Wednesday (April 17).

The graffiti, including the the name “Bin Laden” and the letters “EDL”, was daubed inside a shop at Lion Retail Park, on a wall in view of the Shah Jahan Mosque in Oriental Road and outside properties in Walton Road on November 12 last year.

For the Asbo breach and racially aggravated criminal damage, Gontar received a custodial sentence of 10 weeks, suspended for 12 months.

For the criminal damage she received a custodial sentence of seven weeks, suspended for 12 months, to run concurrently with the first term.

During the 12-month period, Gontar has a supervisory order in place and she is required to participate in a diversity awareness and prejudice programme.

The magistrates also ordered Gontar to pay compensation of £650 to the James Walker Group, £40 to Hobbycraft and £20 to Unit 18 Boundary Way at the hearing.

She was jointly charged with 19-year-old Laura Woodward of Addlestone.

Get Surrey

Woking People

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.”

Get Surrey

A 25-year-old English Defence League member has pleaded guilty to daubing hate graffiti on land being considered as a site for a mosque.

Christopher Payne of Hucknall admitted spraying the graffiti but denied putting a pig’s head on the site in West Bridgford, Nottinghamshire.

He appeared at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court and will be sentenced on 21 July.

Police went to the property on 23 June where the slogan “No Mosque Here” was found spray painted on the ground.
Pig’s head

Payne pleaded guilty to causing racially or religiously aggravated alarm, dissent or distress and causing racially aggravated criminal damage.

Three other men aged 19, 21 and 31, have been arrested and questioned about the incident.

Payne, of Beardsmore Close, Hucknall, who is an events planner for the English Defence League, told the court that he sprayed the slogan but did not put the pig’s head on the grassland.

He was granted bail with a curfew but ordered to stay out of West Bridgford and not to go within 200m of a mosque.

He has also been told not to have any public association with the English Defence League.

A member of the public reported finding the graffiti near Collington Way in West Bridgford on Thursday.

BBC News

A CARER who wrote “EDL” and drew a religious cross on the wall of a mosque has been found guilty of aggravated criminal damage.

Andrew Baldwin, from Fitzrovia, admitted daubing the three letters – representing the far right English Defence League group – and the cross on the wall of the Muslim World League (MWL) building in Charlotte Street, Fitzrovia, on December 10 and again on March 5.

The 38-year-old, who is a full-time carer for his father, also admitted destroying a CCTV sign attached to the building on March 26.

However, he denied a further charge that his actions were motivated by racial or religious hatred. Giving evidence at Highbury Magistrates’ Court last Thursday, Baldwin said he was not an EDL member, but replied “yes” when asked by prosecutor Jonathan Efemini whether he supported the group. He said his graffiti had been aimed at “wrong’uns” rather than Muslims in general, adding: “Anyone going into that building to do their business and pray to their god, it’s not aimed at them. It’s aimed at the other types.”

Baldwin said he had wanted the message to be seen by “people who abuse our soldiers, burn ­poppies and commit terrorism on our train system”.

In a police interview played to the court, Baldwin said he had ripped down the CCTV sign because he had been “having a bad day, I suppose”.

Defending, Dan O’Callaghan said Mr Baldwin had “never denied the basic fact of what happened” and had been “consistent in his representations that this was not religiously aggravated”.

He added: “It was unwise and unpleasant to do it [graffiti] on the building he did it on, but what we say is the motive required under section 38 of the Crime and ­Disorder Act simply did not exist in this case.”

Judge Anthony Martin said Mr Baldwin’s evidence had been “inconsistent”, adding: “In our view that graffiti would offend a class of people rather than ­particular individuals.”

He also said there was no ­evidence to suggest anyone who used the MWL building was involved in terrorism or the other acts cited by Baldwin.

In a statement read to the court at the start of the trial, Dr Ahmed Makhdoom, director of the MWL building, described the graffiti as “very disturbing”.

He added: “I do not want this man [Mr Baldwin] to go to prison. I want him to understand what we do.”

Sentencing will take place on May 12.

Camden New Journal