Qur’an-ripping case jury discharged at Leicester Crown Court

The jury in the trial of a man who staged an anti-religion protest by ripping out pages from the Koran in front of Muslims has been discharged.

The eight women and four men on the jury at Leicester Crown Court failed to agree on a verdict. They sent a note to the judge saying there was no prospect of them reaching either a unanimous or a majority verdict on which at least 10 of them agreed.

Peter James Crawford (52) was said to have torn pages from his own copy of the Koran and thrown the holy book on the ground next to a stall run by the Islamic Information Centre, near the Clock Tower, in Leicester city centre, on the afternoon of May 12.

Crawford, of Mere Road, Spinney Hill, Leicester, denied causing religiously aggravated intentional harassment, alarm or distress by demonstrating hostility based on membership of a particular religious group. The Crown Prosecution Service has 14 days to decide whether or not to proceed with a retrial.

Crawford was released on bail with a condition imposed that he should not to go within half-a-mile of the Clock Tower on Saturday afternoons.

Leicester Mercury, 22 December 2012