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A MAN was abusive and threatening to two British Muslims outside Wrexham’s new mosque and threatened to burn it down.

David Jared Evans, 36, sent texts to people suggesting a visit to the mosque in the former Miner’s Institute and a demonstration and said flare throwers made “good legal weapons”.

Evans received a suspended sentence after he admitted using threatening, abusive and insulting language and behaviour towards Abdulla Anwar which was racially and religiously aggravated. He had a similar previous conviction in 2006 after he abused a black woman.

Judge Niclas Parry, sitting at Mold Crown Court, said North Wales was becoming a cosmopolitan area and the courts would do everything they could to ensure people lived in harmony.

The judge said Mr Anwar and a colleague had approached Evans outside the mosque and offered him help.

“For that, they were subjected to a torrent of disgraceful abuse,” the judge said.

The comments were religiously and racially aggravated, persistent and escalated to threats of violence.

“Wrexham is a cosmopolitan town,” he said. “North Wales is becoming a cosmopolitan area.

“The courts will do everything they can to ensure people live in harmony in a cosmopolitan society.

The comments Evans had made generated hatred which had to be stamped out.

“You come into this case as a racist individual,” said the judge, but he was prepared to accept Evans had changed following his experiences in custody.

“Your future behaviour will show if I am right,” Judge Parry told him.

A prison sentence was inevitable but the judge took into account Evans had already served the equivalent of a six month sentence on remand.

He had pleaded guilty and rather than sending him back into custody for what could only be a matter of weeks he believed it would be better to tackle his “intransigent attitudes”.

Evans, of High Street, Rhos, received a 36 week prison sentence, suspended for a year.

He must carry out 200 hours unpaid work and attend an offending behaviour programme run by the probation service specifically to address his racially motivated behaviour.

“I think that will benefit you,” the judge told him.

Evans was also made subject of a two month 7pm-7am curfew at weekends and Judge Parry told him to pay £500 towards prosecution costs and £150 compensation to Mr Anwar.

A restraining order was made which bans him from going to the mosque or approaching Mr Anwar.

Elizabeth Bell, prosecuting, said on September 10 Evans was taking photographs of the former Miner’s Institute in Grosvenor Road, which had been bought by Wrexham Muslim Association and turned into a mosque.

He saw the two men outside and said to them: “This is a disgrace, you using this place. You’re probably just making your bombs here.”

Evans then used a racist term and asked them why they did not go home. Both men had been born in the United Kingdom.

Mr Anwar, who was left feeling frustrated and distressed, took a photograph of Evans and the defendant did likewise.

When Mr Anwar refused to give Evans his name, he said: “I will be back with my friends. We will give you a good seeing to,” and before leaving threatened to set the place on fire.

Arrested the following day, pictures of the mosque were found on his mobile phone along with a racist song.

A text message was found which he had sent to another man asking him if he was “up for a visit to the mosque tonight?” Another asked a third man if he wanted to join in a demo against the mosque.

One text made reference to a flame thrower making a great legal weapon.

Interviewed, he denied the offence and made no comment when questioned about the text messages.

Evans pleaded guilty after asking the court for a sentencing indication.

Andrew Green, defending, said Evans now realised it was a deeply unpleasant incident.

He had been disciplined in work but as far as he was aware his job was still available to him.

The Leader

FIVE men have appeared in court following disturbances during a rally staged by the English Defence League.

About 1,300 people attended the EDL action in Hanley on January 23.

The group said it was staging the demonstration to protest against Muslim extremism.

A group of about 400 counter-protesters, rallied by anti-racism organisations, trade unions and Staffordshire University, held its own demonstration in the city centre at the same time. There were 600 police officers on duty, and 17 demonstrators were arrested as violence flared.

Six officers were injured, vans and cars damaged and taxi services were suspended.

Yesterday, Wayne Baldwin, aged 41, of the Crescent, Hockley, Birmingham, pleaded guilty to using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour at Hanley Forest Park.

Ruth Belfield, prosecuting at North Staffordshire Magistrates’ Court, said the defendant was in a group of about 100 who broke away from a 300-strong group being policed at the park.

She said: “He was seen to gesture toward police officers and shouted abusive language. He says he regularly attends EDL meetings and generally remains peaceful.”

The defendant was fined £180 with £85 costs and £15 victim surcharge by Deputy District Judge Elizabeth Harte.

Baldwin told the court: “I am sorry for what some of the idiots did in Stoke-on-Trent and I want to apologise for what I said and apologise to the officer.”

Anthony Cook, aged 22, of Shelley Road, Reddish, Stockport, pleaded guilty to a charge of displaying some writing, sign or other visible representation which was racially aggravated.

The court heard that he was not a member of the EDL and had travelled down to Stoke-on-Trent with friends.

Mrs Belfield said the defendant had been seen by a police officer writing a word in condensation on a bus window which was visible to the public. He was fined £100 with £85 costs and a £15 victim surcharge.

A not guilty plea was entered by Michael Gawthorpe, aged 18, of Crofters Way, Chester, who is accused of using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour with intent.

He was unconditionally bailed until March 15 when a trial will be fixed.

Christopher Harley, aged 24, of Bower Street, Reddish, Stockport, denied a charge of displaying some writing, sign or other visible representation which was racially aggravated. He was conditionally bailed until March 15 to fix a trial.

The Deputy District Judge declined to use her powers to deal with Mark Doel, aged 43, of Primrose Hill, Batley.

Doel is charged with offences of violent disorder and assaulting a police constable.

His case was adjourned until April 6 for committal to Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court and he was conditionally bailed.

This is Staffordshire