EDL supporter admits threatening to burn down Rhyl mosque

A former soldier with a hatred of Muslims stuffed tissue into a bottle of beer and attempted to light it at a mosque, a court heard.

John Parkin, 27, of Towyn Way West, Towyn, Conwy, pleaded guilty at a special court to threatening to burn down a mosque at Rhyl and religiously aggravated disorderly behaviour on Saturday. Magistrates at Llandudno committed him in custody for sentencing by a Mold Crown Court judge.

Prosecutor David Mainstone said: “This is a very serious offence given the sensitive climate in this country.”

He said Parkin went to a Rhyl nightclub and was refused entry after telling staff: “I just need a bottle of strong alcohol to burn down the mosque.” He moved on to a shop and bought a bottle of Corona beer. Police arrived just as he was about to light the tissue. Mr Mainstone said he had made a “serious threat” to burn down the mosque and uttered anti-Muslim remarks after his arrest.

The prosecutor sought a remand in custody “given the high level of feeling running in this country” and the concern about Parkin’s views expressed while in police custody.

Parkin told police he hated Muslims, the court heard. He had a previous conviction for a public order offence involving anti-Muslim comments.

Defence solicitor Alex Fitzgerald said Parkin’s behaviour was “drunken and foolish.” He sought his release from custody on conditional bail. Mr Fitzgerald said: “The defendant would concede from the outset these are serious matters and there’s a risk of custody. The defendant has a drink problem which is getting worse. He’s tried to get help for it.”

Parkin told police he had drunk about 15 pints of lager.

Wales Online, 27 May 2013

During a previous incident near the mosque, when Parkin threatened to blow it up and shoot Muslims in the head, he told police he was a member of the English Defence League.