Edinburgh mosque firebomber had 20 previous convictions

A RACIST thug with 20 previous convictions has been jailed for nearly four years after he hurled a petrol bomb at an Edinburgh mosque.

Thomas Conington was yesterday sentenced to a minimum of three years and nine months for the attack, which took place at the Central Mosque in Potterrow on September 18 last year.

Conington has 20 previous convictions. Picture: Police Scotland

Conington has 20 previous convictions. Picture: Police Scotland

It marks the latest in a string of convictions dating back to 2004, ranging from assault, armed robbery, vandalism and fraud to theft, possession of a bladed article and assault to permanent disfigurement.

The 29-year-old, who sports a swastika tattoo on his chest, was also handed a lifelong order of restriction, making him subject to imprisonment or supervision for the rest of his life.

He had previously pleaded guilty to wilful fire-raising, behaving in a threatening 
manner and a charge under 
the Explosives Act at the High Court in Glasgow – all aggravated by religious prejudice.

Having spent his life in and out of court, it is not the first time that Conington has targeted Edinburgh’s Muslim community.

Thomas Conington, 29, ignited the bomb, which consisted of a clear glass bottle filled with petrol, and threw it over the fence of the mosque. Picture: Contributed

Thomas Conington, 29, ignited the bomb, which consisted of a clear glass bottle filled with petrol, and threw it over the fence of the mosque. Picture: Contributed

In 2015 he was jailed for eight months for a separate attack on the Central Mosque in which he set fire to a seating area.

Conington, then 27, doused tables and chairs with flammable liquid before setting them alight, running off when a workman spotted what he was doing.

Conington’s violent streak also emerged in 2012 when he was jailed for assaulting a worker at a Chinese restaurant in Gorebridge.

He was discovered on top of the victim with his hands around his throat when a colleague at the Kwei Lin restaurant rushed in when the victim yelled for help. Conington was jailed for eight months.

Meanwhile in 2010 Conington was given 20 months behind bars after he slashed the face of a fellow inmate in Saughton Prison.

The attack came after Conington was invited into Paul Fegan’s cell to borrow a DVD player.

Conington saw his fellow prisoner move towards him with “a look in his eye” and pulled out a razor blade before slashing Mr Fegan on the face.

The court heard that the two men got on well together in prison but they had had problems, with Mr Fegan circulating rumours that Conington was gay.

Conington raised a middle-finger to those seated in the public gallery as he was led to the cells yesterday, having previously been described as a “racist individual”.

Judge Lord Burns said: “As stated, you are a bigot and have a long history of behaviour of that nature.

“The risk assessment gives a chilling insight to your attitude towards ethnic minorities.

“You appear to be someone who relishes violence and may attack strangers randomly and without reason. The risk is a high one and the public require protection from you for a very long time.”