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Scottish man pleads guilty to leaving hoax bomb outside Paisley mosque

Scottish man pleads guilty to leaving hoax bomb outside Paisley mosque

Categories: Latest News

Friday October 20 2017

Scottish news site Herald Scotland reports on the guilty plea of a man who planted a fake bomb outside a mosque in Paisley following the London Bridge terror attacks in June.

James Palmer, 31, admitted creating the hoax device in his Paisley flat after watching news coverage of the shocking attacks which occurred in London on 3rd June.

The following day, Palmer left a “blue plastic bag with two gas canisters taped together with wire and wood” outside the steps of Paisley Central Mosque. The bag was spotted by worshippers as they exited the mosque after evening prayers in the holy month of Ramadan.

Procurator Fiscal Depute Claire Nicholls explained to Paisley Sheriff Court that there were about 20 people inside the mosque when the offence took place at about 19:35 on Sunday 4th June. Nicholls described how the bag had been “taped together with white wiring, giving the impression it was a bomb”. An accompanying note through the wire read, “Youse are next, defo”.

Palmer pleaded guilty to a racially aggravated charge of placing “a package with the intention of inducing in some other person a belief it was likely to explode or ignite and thereby cause personal injury or damage to property”.

Sheriff David Pender described Palmer’s actions as “a retaliation” to the events which occurred in London, and delayed sentencing until next month for social care reports to be completed.

Palmer’s offence was part of a general increase in Islamophobic attacks following June’s terrorist attacks, with the Metropolitan Police stating that Islamophobic hate crimes increased five-fold in the aftermath of the attacks.

Figures from the Scottish Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) show that 673 religiously aggravated charges were reported in Scotland in 2016-17, a 14% increase on the previous year. This was the highest number of religiously aggravated charges reported since 2012-13.

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