Drunk who threw glasses at mosque and swore about Muslims is not a racist, court told

Tensions caused by the savage murder of a soldier in London formed the grim background to a drunken disturbance near a Cleethorpes mosque, a court heard. A man who had been drinking heavily hurled glasses and a bottle towards the building’s car park area and swore about Muslims, Grimsby magistrates were told.

Leon Ramsey, 22, of St Peter’s Avenue, Cleethorpes, admitted using religiously aggravated threatening words or behaviour towards Azid Miah and other members of the nearby mosque on May 31. He also admitted using threatening words or behaviour towards pub worker Samantha Clawson.

Rebecca Dolby, prosecuting, said Ramsey had been at Bar Babylon in Cleethorpes. Police were alerted after Ramsey hurled three glasses and a bottle from the beer garden towards the nearby Bangladesh Cultural Centre. He had drunk about eight pints of lager and was heard swearing about Muslims. Staff heard a glass smashing and Ramsey was abusive towards member of staff Samantha Clawson, leaving her frightened about what he might do.

One of the people connected with the mosque said he believed the background to the incident was the brutal murder of soldier Lee Rigby, 25, in Woolwich, London, on May 22.

Door staff ejected Ramsey and he ran away from the police but was detained shortly afterwards. He admitted: “I can’t believe I have been so stupid.” He denied being a racist and claimed he did not even know there was a mosque in Cleethorpes, despite living there for 22 years.

Andrew Havery, mitigating, said Ramsey’s behaviour was “not going to win him any friends or win him any prizes”. He was ashamed of his behaviour and was adamant he was not a racist. “It came very hot on the heels of what happened in London and it was a very easy comment to make without any real forethought,” said Mr Havery. “The words spoken were not truly from his heart.”

Probation officer Graham Marshall said Ramsey overheard comments being made towards the nearby mosque and accepted his behaviour was wrong. He admitted he was a binge drinker but claimed he had not drunk any alcohol since the offences. He was a qualified bricklayer but was currently working at sea.

Ramsey, who has a two-year-old son, was given a nine-month supervision order, a two-year drink banning order and must pay £300 costs and a Government-imposed £60 victims’ surcharge.

Grimsby Telegraph, 5 October 2013