Protester who tore up Qur’an has case dropped at Leicester court

A man who was put on trial after staging an anti-religion protest by ripping out pages from the Koran in front of Muslims has had the case against him dropped.

A jury at Leicester Crown Court failed to reach a verdict in the case against Peter James Crawford last month. The Crown Prosecution Service reviewed the evidence and a decision was made not to continue with a fresh trial. The case was dropped against Mr Crawford, 52, when the prosecution offered no evidence against him at a hearing.

Speaking this week, Mr Crawford’s defence advocate during the trial, Steven Newcombe, said: “I think the prosecution made a sensible decision not to have a retrial in the light of the jury being deadlocked. There were other ways of dealing with this matter, rather than attempting to prosecute Mr Crawford in a crown court. He has learned a lesson and I’m sure he will conduct himself with a greater degree of sensitivity.”

A spokesman for the Crown Prosecution Service said: “When jury cannot decide on a verdict, the prosecution must decide whether to seek a retrial on the basis of the same evidence. A number of factors must be taken into account, including the likely penalty if the defendant is found guilty, the time delay in securing a date for the retrial, the views of the victim, judiciary and police and the likelihood of another jury reaching a decision.”

Leicester Mercury, 11 January 2013