Man charged with arson attack on Sunderland mosque

A man from Peterborough accused of a late-night petrol attack on a mosque in Sunderland has been remanded in custody. Gerald Davies (53), of Palmerston Road, Peterborough, appeared before Sunderland Magistrates’ Court yesterday after an incident in the early hours of Friday.

He was charged with attempting to damage by fire the mosque in Chester Road, Sunderland, with intent to endanger the lives of members of the Muslim community. Prosecutor Nicci Horton told the court that the offence was so serious it could only be dealt with at Newcastle Crown Court.

Davies was not asked to enter a plea to the charge and spoke only to confirm his name and address during the hearing.

Miss Horton outlined the case to the court alleging that petrol was thrown on the building which was empty at the time.

Defence solicitor Heidi Surtees made no bail application and Davies was remanded in custody until a hearing at Newcastle Crown Court on November 2.

Speaking before the hearing, Chief Superintendent Dave Pryer from Northumbria Police said: “I would like to thank members of the public for their help. Sunderland is a thriving diverse community and we have an excellent relationship with all of our community and will continue to build on this.”

Peterborough Today, 20 October 2009