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Muslims at a mosque feared an attack after a teenager daubed graffiti outside the building following the killing of soldier Lee Rigby, a court heard.

Oadby Central Mosque

Oadby Central Mosque

Worshippers at Oadby Central Mosque believed they could be assaulted after “EDL” – a reference to the English Defence League – was scrawled on a charity clothing bin outside the building.

Prosecutor Safina Desai told Leicester Youth Court yesterday how the 17-year-old graffiti vandal wrote “EDL” on the bin in Sandhurst Street days after the attack on Mr Rigby in London on May 22.

In a victim statement read out in court, Muhammed Katib, chairman of Oadby Central Mosque, which is also a community centre, told how Muslims were in fear of being attacked.

After the killing of Mr Rigby, mosques had been set on fire.

“We were on red alert and very concerned about what had happened,” said Mr Katib.

“We were fearful that the mosque would be damaged or set on fire or people would be attacked.”

Mr Katib told how the mosque was watched 24 hours a day for a while, and worshippers stayed away for fear of being targeted.

Mrs Desai said the defendant, who is from Oadby and cannot be named because of his age, was arrested after police identified his “tag” – a signature – on the graffiti.

When his home was searched, police found pens that matched the colour of the graffiti on the bin.

Mrs Desai said the teenager admitted he had scrawled the graffiti.

“He told police he had heard about what had happened in London and did not like it,” she said. “He wanted to do something about it. He was aware that the centre was used as a mosque.”

Mrs Desai told the court that the teenager had already scrawled “EDL” on the windows of the centre and on the same charity clothes bin on May 13.

She said Mr Katib had dismissed that graffiti as a “one-off” event, but was very alarmed after the second attack.

The teenager pleaded not guilty to two charges of racially-aggravated criminal damage on May 13 and between June 6 and 11.

He was convicted of both offences after a two-day trial at Leicester Youth Court on September 17.

Alan Mee, representing the teenager at the sentencing hearing yesterday, said the 17-year-old regretted what he had done.

The teenager said: “I am sorry if I caused any grief or fear or anything.”

Chairman of the bench Bruce Chater gave the teenager a 12-month rehabilitation order with supervision.

The youth is to be electronically tagged for two months and must observe a curfew between 9pm and 7am every day.

Mr Chater told the teenager: “I think on reflection you understand what you did and how something like this affected the community.”

Leicester Mercury

THREE people are to appear in court next month accused of spraying racially offensive remarks on three buildings, including a mosque.

It relates to alleged spray painting incidents at the Nasir Mosque, in Brougham Place, Hartlepool, and at the Albert Guest House, in Front Street, and the Milco store, in Front Street, both Shotton Colliery, County Durham, which all took place on Tuesday November 16 last year.

Anthony Donald Smith, 24, of Hampshire Place, Peterlee, and 31-year-old Steven James Vasey, of Prior’s Grange, High Pittington, both County Durham, plus 19-year-old Charlotte Davies, of Aylesbury, in Buckinghamshire, have been charged with racially aggravated criminal damage.

All three have been bailed by police to appear before North Durham magistrates, at Peterlee, on Wednesday May 11.

Durham Police said that at the time of the alleged incidents all three claimed to be members of the English Defence League.

The Northern Echo

A Quran was ’desecrated’ and racist graffiti daubed at a mosque, it has emerged.

Two teenagers have been charged with racially aggravated criminal damage connected with the incident in Chorley.

Police said intruders entered the Dawat Ul Islam Masjid, also known as Chorley Mosque, in Brooke Street, before causing interior damage and damaging various items, including a Quran.

Officers added that racially-abusive graffiti was found on walls at the building during the incident.

Police said that their investigations had not linked the attack to any organised anti-Islamic group.

Coun Hasina Khan, who lives nearby and represents Chorley east on the borough council, said many Muslims in the town were shocked by the incident.

She said: “Every religion and all places of worship should be given the greatest of respect by all members of the community.”

She added: “Chorley is a place of cohesion between the communities and incidents like this are very rare.”

Sergeant Kevin Mountain, from the Chorley neighbourhood police team, said: “We treat incidents of this nature with the utmost gravity.

“I would urge anyone who feels they have been subjected to a crime because of their race or religious beliefs to contact us immediately and we will investigate fully.”

 The £500,000 mosque, which opened five years ago, has a capacity for more than 500 worshippers and was the first purpose-built mosque in Chorley.

Its facilities include a wash room and two large prayer rooms on each floor.

The incident happened on April 16 but police have only just released details after charging two people.

Daniel Barrow, 18, of Berkeley Close, Chorley, has been bailed to appear before Blackburn magistrates on July 15 charged with racially-aggravated criminal damage.

A 17-year-old youth has been bailed to appear before a juvenile court in Chorley on July 5 charged with two counts of racially aggravated criminal damage.

The Citizen