Fines for 'pig's head' incident group

05/09/2011

A group of Nottingham men have pleaded guilty to racially or religiously aggravated causing harassment, alarm or distress by words or writing for placing a pig's head on a pole at the proposed site of a Mosque in West Bridgford – a gesture described by CPS East Midlands Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor Brian Gunn as having 'no place in our community'.

Wayne Havercroft, Robert Parnham, Nicholas Long and Christopher Payne placed the head at the site and daubed graffiti including 'No mosque here, EDL Notts' and a highly offensive anti-Muslim slogan on the head and pavement in June 2011.

Payne pleaded guilty to the religiously aggravated harassment charge, as well as racially or religiously aggravated criminal damage for the graffiti on the pavement. He was fined £250; ordered to pay court costs of £85, plus a £15 victim surcharge; given a 6-week suspended prison sentence and given a 12 month community order with 100 hours of unpaid work.

Havercroft, Parnham and Long pleaded guilty to the harassment charge. Havercroft also pleaded guilty to another similar charge for a separate incident. He was fined £200 and ordered to pay £85 costs for each incident, plus a £15 victim surcharge. Parnham and Long were both fined £200, with £85 court costs plus a £15 victim surcharge.

Brian Gunn said: "The actions of this group were highly offensive and would obviously have caused significant distress to the community in West Bridgford had it not been discovered at an early stage.

"Everyone has the right to follow their faith without harassment. This kind of targeted abuse based on the grounds of religion or race has no place in our community. The CPS always takes hate crimes seriously. We have robust policies to ensure that where there is sufficient evidence that a religious or race hate crime has taken place we will prosecute the case. We will also ensure that the court is fully aware of religious or racially aggravated features of the case so that they can sentence appropriately."