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Man who threatened to blow up mosques jailed for only 20 months

24th Nov 2017
Man who threatened to blow up mosques jailed for only 20 months

Elham Asaad Buaras

A man who posted a video online in which he spoke about blowing up mosques has been jailed for 20 months. Paul Hepplestall, 39, from Liverpool was jailed for 20 months on October 26 with the court hearing that Muslim families in Merseyside, Bristol, Newcastle and Scotland reported being feared for their safety

Hepplestall, from Liverpool, was arrested after the film in which he is seen to wear a plastic grenade was shared widely on social media. Hepplestall filmed himself launching into a foul-mouthed tirade against Muslims on June 4 the day after the London Bridge attack that left eight people dead.

The video recorded on his mobile phone also shows him holding a bladed weapon and making comments in the wake of terror attacks in Manchester and London about “cutting the ears off ” Muslims.

In the video clip, Hepplestall said: “This is a quick message to Muslims, p***s and terrorists, you can’t call yourself terrorists, cowards is what I want to call yous (sic). Yeah, you run in with bombs strapped to use and blow yourself up, where there’s a bunch of innocent kids. There is nothing terrorising about that.”

He goes on, “Let me tell you, I will get people to run in your mosques with pineapples [a reference to grenades, prosecutors said], blow your mosques off this f***ing planet. Yeah, I will cut each one of your ears off with a sword, I will cut your fingers, your toes, I will cut you a thousand times until you bleed out.”

Hepplestall pleaded guilty at Liverpool Crown Court to sending racially aggravated malicious communications and was also given a five-year restraining order in relation to deleting his internet history.

Detective Constable Tom Patterson of Merseyside Police said the “verdict shows that Merseyside Police and the Crown Prosecution Service are relentless in their pursuit of people who commit hate crimes and will actively pursue anyone who misuses social media to broadcast messages of hate. The more action we can take against perpetrators of hate crimes the more confidence we can instil in victims that if they report things to the police we will protect, support them and make it stop.”

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