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Two men fined for Facebook threats to “torch” and "blow up” mosque in Bolton

Two men fined for Facebook threats to “torch” and "blow up” mosque in Bolton

Categories: Latest News

Friday December 05 2014

The Bolton News, reports on the conviction of two men for posting threats to “torch” and blow up” a site proposed for a new mosque in Bolton on the ‘Stop The Astley Bridge Mosque’ Facebook page.

Leon Richmond, 18, wrote he would not be bothered if the mosque was built because he would “blow it up”.

Darren Hubble, 23, threatened “Bolton people say no, Wigan says not a chance, I’ll torch the place if I get half the chance.”

Richmond and Hubble both pleaded guilty to posting indecent or grossly offensive material on Facebook for the purpose of causing distress and anxiety between May 19 and June 19 this year.

After appearing in court on Wednesday in Bolton, they were each fined £600 and further ordered to pay £145 costs.

A third man, Andrew Edge, 44, was expected to appear at Wigan Magistrates’ Court via video-link on 26 November for also posting offensive messages on the Facebook social media page.

The ‘Stop The Astley Bridge Mosque’ Facebook page was created in opposition to the Taiyabah Islamic Centre’s proposals to construct a mosque in the town. The proposal was granted planning permission by the Bolton Council in July at a council meeting which was disrupted by protestors who shouted abuse at council officials.

Detective Inspector Charlotte Cadden stated: “It is becoming a regular trend for people to think they can make racially offensive comments online and get away with it – but they can’t, and these convictions show that.

“I would warn anyone that making vile comments on social media carries just as much a risk of conviction as sending an abusive letter.”

Similarly, Councillor Guy Harkin for Crompton, expressed “They seem to think that social media is outside the law and say things on there they would soon be arrested for if they said them in a pub or supermarket.”


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