Lincolnshire man and youth convicted of racially aggravated offences

16/05/2011

A Lincolnshire man and youth have been convicted of racially aggravated offences following an incident at a meeting concerning a Lincoln Mosque - offences described by CPS Senior Crown Prosecutor Deborah Cartwright as "a pre-meditated and calculated attempt to cause harassment and distress".

The incident occurred in July 2010, when a meeting for members of the Muslim community in Lincoln about planning a new mosque was disrupted by a group including the two defendants.

The group was asked to leave when they became abusive. There was an altercation and racially abusive language was reported and one member of the meeting, an off duty police officer, was assaulted.

Evidence from eyewitnesses was sufficient to charge Daniel Odling with racially or religiously aggravated harassment or causing harm or distress by words and a 17 year old who cannot be named with racially or religiously aggravated common assault. They were tried and convicted at Lincoln Magistrates Court.

On the conviction of the two, Deborah Cartwright said: "This type of offending is very serious. It can have real and lasting effects on individuals, communities and indeed, the whole of society.

"Religious crime is particularly hurtful to victims as they are being targeted solely because of their personal belief or faith. The confusion, fear and lack of safety felt by individuals can have a ripple effect in the wider community. Communities can feel victimised and vulnerable to further attack.

"It is for these reasons that we do and will robustly prosecute cases such as this."