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A MAN who threatened to burn down Hastings Mosque in retaliation for the brutal killing of soldier Lee Rigby in London has been given a suspended jail sentence.

Unemployed Adam Rogers, 28, of Woolwich, a former English Defence League (EDL) activist, was staying with friends in Hastings when he posted a tirade of offensive and obscene remarks on Facebook including the statement ‘the mosque needs burning down’.

He also called on fellow EDL members to congregate at Hastings Mosque in St Leonards.

On Monday (July 15), Rogers was sentenced to 16 weeks in custody, suspended for two years, by Hastings magistrates. He was also given a supervision requirement for 24 months and ordered to pay £85 in costs and an £80 victim surcharge.

Just a fortnight ago, Kevin Newsome, 58, from Luton, was fined £200 by Hastings magistrates after he walked into Hastings Mosque late at night on August 18 last year, threw a number of shoes into the street, and harassed a Muslim family.

On May 22 Drummer Lee Rigby was killed in broad daylight in Woolwich, Adam Rogers’ hometown.

Rogers made the offensive comments on Facebook on May 23 prompting a complaint to police who arrested him on May 24. By then he had removed the remarks from the social networking site.

He pleaded guilty to the charge of sending an indecent, obscene, or menacing message.

At Monday’s sentencing, Aidan Harvey, defending, said that Rogers withdrew his patronage of EDL after the incident.

He said: “Woolwich is a garrison town. He did not know Lee Rigby, but knew him by sight.

“At a time when anger and resentment is running high, to post those comments worldwide is likely to inflame the situation, but I think the most telling point is that he took them off, and not because he was being investigated.”

A number of friends of Rogers had commented on the post that they found it offensive, including a good friend of his who was Muslim.

“Within a very short period of doing what he did, he realised it was wrong when it suddenly became personal to him,” Mr Harvey added.

Sentencing Rogers, Nicola Pankhurst, chairman of the bench, said: “We are clearly aware that this is an offence which is incredibly serious. We are satisfied that this does reach the custody threshold.”

Imam Magdi Osman, speaking on behalf of Hastings Mosque users, said in response to the Rogers and Newsome cases: “We were not necessarily looking for heavy sentences. We are happy to see they have been caught and dealt with.

“We hope that one day we can sit down with them, and talk with each other and understand each other, so that we can live as one.”

Hastings Observer

A woman has been fined for shouting racist remarks and punching a woman wearing a burka in south-east London.

Tracy Davies, 46, of Charlton Lane, Charlton, was found guilty on Wednesday of racially aggravated common assault.

Bexley Magistrates’ Court heard she attacked the Somali woman, 55, who was shopping with her daughter in Woolwich town centre.

Davies was ordered to pay a £150 fine, £100 compensation, and £105 to cover costs.

‘Sheer bigotry’

The court heard that shoppers in Woolwich town centre immediately went to the woman’s aid and gave the police statements when they arrived.

Supt Parm Sandhu said of the 29 June incident: “Davies’ racist and repugnant remarks were simply triggered by seeing a woman in a burka.

“This attack was completely unprovoked and the result of sheer bigotry.

BBC News

Tracey Ann Davies admitting the crime on Facebook

Tracey Ann Davies admitting the crime on Facebook

Thank to EDL News for the screengrab.

Adam Rodgers

Adam Rodgers

Adam Rodgers, 28, of Woolwich, a former English Defence League (EDL) activist, threatened to burn down a mosque in retaliation for the brutal killing of soldier Lee Rigby.

Unemployed Rogers was staying with friends in Hastings when he posted a tirade of offensive and obscene remarks on Facebook. He also called on fellow EDL members to congregate at Hastings Mosque in St Leonards.

On Monday (July 15), Rogers was sentenced to 16 weeks in custody, suspended for two years, by Hastings magistrates. He was also given a supervision requirement for 24 months and ordered to pay £85 in costs and an £80 victim surcharge.

May 23rd 2013

Hastings and St. Leonards Observer

The Argus