Man who smashed Huntingdon mosque window appears in court

A plasterer who smashed a window at a mosque in Huntingdon with a chair has appeared in court.

Gary Abbott, of no fixed abode, was arrested near Huntingdon Islamic Education and Prayer Centre in Coneygear Road on Thursday (May 30), shortly after the offence.

The 45-year-old was charged with racial or religiously aggravated criminal damage and appeared at Peterborough Magistrates’ Court on Saturday (June 1), when he was released on bail.

At Huntingdon Magistrates’ Court yesterday (Tuesday), Abbott pleaded guilty to the criminal damage charge and will be sentenced at a later date.

The court heard how he had admitted to police when interviewed that he was responsible for the damage.

Speaking for the defendant, Lorraine Adams said he had been seen putting the chair through the window and then cycling off. “It was a spur of the moment attack, rather than a planned matter,” she added.

Abbott also faces a charge of religiously aggravated harassment after it was alleged he returned to the mosque area on Sunday (June 2) and shouted obscenities. He was re-arrested and detained in custody until yesterday’s hearing.

He pleaded not guilty to the harassment charge and a trial will be held at Huntingdon Magistrates’ Court on August 21.

Abbott was released on bail on the condition that he lives and sleeps at a relative’s address in Orchard Lane, Huntingdon, and does not go within 500m of Huntingdon Islamic Education and Prayer Centre.

Hunts Post, 5 June 2013