Andrew Warner, Travis Crabtree, Thomas Ashton and Steven White
Elham Asaad Buaras
Four men were jailed on November 17 for throwing a pig’s head into Blackpool Central Mosque just two days after the murder of soldier Lee Rigby.
Preston Crown Court was told Thomas Ashton, 21, Andrew Warner, 31, Travis Crabtree, 25, and Steven White, 28, dumped a carrier bag containing the pig’s head in the car park of Blackpool Central Mosque in Lancashire. Ashton was given ten months prison, Warner seven months, Crabtree 14 months and White was given eight months.
The men were imprisoned despite a plea of clemency from the Mosque’s Imam who called on the judge in the case not to jail the four men who admitted religiously aggravated intentional harassment, alarm or distress.
Ashfaq Patel said: “I don’t think they should be put behind bars.”
Clare Thomas, prosecuting, said a volunteer discovered the pig’s head in a bag outside the mosque, after receiving a Facebook message that an unpleasant package had been sent there. She said: “Parents and children had started to arrive at the mosque. Some of them saw the head and felt offended and angry.”
Investigating police found taunting messages on White’s Facebook, which read: “They will be fuming.”
Judge Knowles said: “People are and must be free to worship as they please and without this kind of foul attack on them and that which they hold sacred. Public order must be preserved. What you four did must be denounced”.
Barrister for the four men denied their clients were racists, saying it was ‘a prank that went horribly wrong.’