Soldier handed suspended sentence for breaking into mosque and stealing Qur'an
Categories: Latest News
Thursday December 04 2014
The Braintree and Witham Times reports on the court appearance of a British soldier who was charged with one count of criminal damage and another of burglary after breaking into Jamia Masjid Mosque in Parkway, Chelmsford last December.
Liam King, 22, targeted the mosque twice within a three week period, the first time breaking the lock on the door of the mosque (24 November), the second time, accompanied by two other men, King broke the lock and stole a copy of the Qur’an from inside the mosque.
Essex police released CCTV images last December in a bid to identify the attackers and King was charged in March this year.
The local paper reports that the three men were “clearly drunk”.
King, who serves in the 1st Battalion Royal Anglian Regiment, admitted the two charges and was given a 12 months prison sentence, suspended for two years for the burglary charge and a one month suspended sentence for the criminal damage charge.
He was also ordered to complete 100 hours of unpaid work within one year, and must pay £1,200 costs and £175 compensation to the mosque.
It is notable that neither charge carried an aggravated element despite the target of the criminal acts being religious; a mosque and a copy of the Qur’an.