Issue 284, Friday 28 December 2012 - 14 Safar 1434
Man photographed with stick before assault on mosque is spared jail
By Elham Asaad Buaras
Henry Hunter photographed holding a stick near Kingston Mosque has claimed he was in ‘the wrong place at the wrong time’.
A man found guilty of violent disorder following an attack on Kingston Mosque has been spared jail on December 3.
Henry Hunter, 19, was convicted last month after a gang of young men laid siege to a mosque in East Road, having previously attended a protest march against Muslim extremism, on November 21, 2010.
But he was acquitted of racially aggravated criminal damage.
During the violence, 20 to 30 masked and hooded men waved pieces of wood, urinated in the foyer and laid bacon on a car and the mosque, the court heard.
At Kingston Crown Court Hunter was sentenced to six months at a young offenders’ institute, suspended for 12 months.
He was fined £1,000, given 250 hours of unpaid work, and handed a 4 month curfew order banning him from leaving his home on the weekend and Monday nights.
He was also banned from the town centre for a year.
Hunter’s solicitor Michael Green contrasted his client’s police record with those of Martin Pottle and Alfie Wallace, who, along with David Morris, were all jailed for the attack in April.
Green said Pottle had four previous public order offences and had been sentenced to 6 months in prison for affray in 2010.
Wallace had convictions for violence, robbery, criminal damage, assaulting a police officer and racially aggravated offences.
Green also pointed to the fact Hunter handed himself into the police voluntarily, after his picture appeared on the front page of the Surrey Comet in the wake of the convictions of Pottle, Wallace and Morris.
“His attitudes have changed considerably; his personal circumstances have changed considerably.
Sentencing Hunter, Recorder Fletcher said: “You’ve made important changes to your lifestyle and attitude in the past two years.”
“I’ve felt able to take a different course in your case to the course taken regarding Mr Pottle and Wallace.”