| ||The South Shields Gazette reports on the outcome of a court case concerning a man from South Tyneside who engaged in a “religious hate campaign” by leaving bacon and other meat products outside the Jam-E-Masjid mosque, in Baring Street, South Shields. |
From the paper:
“A churchgoer who stuck bacon to the door of a mosque in South Tyneside as part of a religious hate campaign was branded “un-Christian” by a judge.
“But John White, 63, walked free from court after the chairman of the mosque wrote a letter to court, begging for leniency.
“White was caught on CCTV carrying out the attacks in South Shields in January, Newcastle Crown Court heard.
“On January 2, the bacon was placed outside the Jam-E-Masjid mosque, in Baring Street, South Shields, which has about 200 regular worshippers.
“Throughout the month, meat was repeatedly left outside the mosque and a member’s home in Coston Drive, South Shields, was also targeted, with bacon even being stuck to the front door of the mosque.
“He admitted five charges of religiously aggravated harassment, but claimed that his motivations were personal, targeting a particular Muslim family, over a 20-year grudge.
“Despite the fear he caused to the Muslim and Bangladeshi community, chairman of the Jam-E-Masjid mosque, Mohammed Miah, asked the judge to show leniency.
“In a letter read out in court, Mr Miah described how he had known White since 1982 and said he was known and liked in the community.
“He said: “We wish the courts to be lenient with John. Although we were upset initially, we do not wish for any serious consequences to happen to John.”
“Judge Michael Cartlidge commended the forgiving attitude of the Muslim community and condemned White’s actions as “un-Christian” and “stupid”.
“White was given a six-month jail sentence, suspended for 12 months.
“He is also now banned for 12 months from going within 100 metres of the mosque or the family home he targeted.
“Passing sentence, Judge Cartlidge said: “This is probably the most un-Christian way to settle a grudge.”
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