EDL activist faces jail for Hastings mosque threat

Adam RodgersAn EDL activist who threatened to burn down a mosque in retaliation for the brutal killing of soldier Lee Rigby has been told he could be sent to jail.

Adam Rogers took to Facebook following Wednesday’s killing and called on his fellow EDL members to meet him at Hastings mosque. Brighton Magistrates’ Court heard that the 28-year-old posted “inflammatory” remarks on the social networking site in the hours following the drummer’s death including “the mosque needs burning down”.

Prosecuting, Melanie Wotton, told how Rogers, who gave his address as Kingsman Street, Woolwich, had been staying with a friend in Hastings and was looking to move to the town.

The court heard how the day before drummer Lee Rigby was killed, police warned Rogers about his behaviour after he asked them “what are you doing about all the Muslims?”. His details were taken and officers checked his computer following the Woolwich attack.

Ms Wotton told the court that they found a series of “vile” and “inflammatory” messages. In one post he urged his fellow EDL members to congregate at the town’s mosque for a “flash demo”. Ms Wotton added: “These were clearly extremely unhelpful comments to put on Facebook bearing in mind what has happened in Woolwich recently.”

Ronan Crummy, who was defending Rogers, added: “The comments on the social networking site were posted following the brutal murder in the streets of London. It was a sickening incident and of course it is an area where Mr Rogers has lived for the vast majority of his life. It is an area he is familiar with including the barracks in question.

“He is profoundly sorry and accepts that they are vile and disrespectful. In the clear light of day he removed the comments from the site before he was arrested.”

Rogers stood before court on Saturday morning wearing khaki trousers, a blue shirt and blue sweater. Confirming his name, date of birth and address, he pleaded guilty to the charge of sending an indecent, obscene, or menacing message.

Lead magistrate Paul Brown, said: “The harm you could have created was potentially huge due to the circumstances. You made threats to burn down a mosque and mobilise people at a time when feelings are running very high due to a tragic incident. All options will remain open, including prison.”

Rogers will be sentenced at Hastings Magistrates Court on June 17.

The Argus, 27 May 2013