EDL member charged with arson attack on Stoke mosque was in army

A man charged after a fire at a Stoke-on-Trent mosque was a serving soldier in the Army at the time of the attack. The Ministry of Defence (MoD) said Simon Beech served with 2nd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment and was discharged from the Army in February.

Mr Beech, of Hartshill Road, Stoke-on-Trent, has been charged with arson with intent to endanger life. Gareth Foster, also of Hartshill Road, has been charged with the same offence. Both men have been granted conditional bail and have been due to appear at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court on 10 June.

An MoD spokesman said Mr Beech was in “the early stages of his Army career”.

BBC News, 4 April 2011