Harassment guilty plea for pig's head

24/01/2013

A Leicester man has today pleaded guilty to religiously aggravated harassment for leaving a pig's head at a community centre being used by a Muslim group, an offence described by Chief Crown Prosecutor Judith Walker as 'highly offensive to his victims'.

Liam Ferrar left the head in the doorway of the community centre in the early hours of Boxing Day 2012. It was discovered later that morning by members of the Muslim group.

Judith Walker, Chief Crown Prosecutor at CPS East Midlands said: "Everyone has the right to practice their faith without fear of harassment. There is no place in our community for this kind of action that deliberately targets people on the grounds of their religion, and the Crown Prosecution Service takes this kind of offending extremely seriously.

"Liam Ferrar admitted that he had left the head at the community centre and in charging the offence, we were satisfied that his actions were motivated by hostility to cause shock and distress. Pigs hold a particular significance in the Muslim faith and this action was highly offensive to his victims."

Superintendant Mark Newcombe, of Leicetershire Police, said: "This was clearly a religiously motivated offence which was directed at those using the community centre as a Muslim place of worship, who found the incident extremely upsetting and shocking.

"We have no tolerance for discrimination in Leicester, of any kind, and the majority of people in the area were left very upset by the incident. What I hope is that todays result will send a clear message to people like Ferrar, that all those in the criminal justice system will do all they can to bring you to justice."

Ferrar was charged with religiously aggravated harassment and pleaded guilty at Leicester Magistrates Court. He will be sentenced in February.