Drunk who threatened to bomb mosque avoids jail

Garith Wood avoided a jail sentence at Livingston Sheriff Court yesterday. Picture: Comp
Garith Wood avoided a jail sentence at Livingston Sheriff Court yesterday. Picture: Comp
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A DRUNK who threatened to bomb a mosque during a racist rant has escaped a jail sentence and instead been ordered to carry out community service.

Garith Wood admitted behaving in a racially aggravated manner during his rant last May.

The 27-year-old made racist comments about a 14-year-old Asian boy in Livingston and then called another Asian, Abdu Raman Bismillah, a “black b******” , among further offensive comments.

Part of his hateful tirade included threatening to bomb the Livingston Sunni Islamic Centre and Mosque.

At Livingston Sheriff Court yesterday, Sheriff David W Hall imposed a community payback order on Wood, ordering him to carry out 180 hours of unpaid work

The sheriff also put Wood under social work supervision for 12 months to address his drinking and offending behaviour.

Wood was also fined £200 for behaving in a threatening and abusive manner in Livingston on September 30, 2011.

Passing sentence, the sheriff told the accused: “The court simply does not tolerate such behaviour.

“It is with hesitation that I don’t impose a custodial sentence today.”

Wood, from Whitburn, had three pages of previous convictions, mostly for public disorder offences.

He originally denied his racist behaviour and had been due to stand trial last month.

But he pleaded guilty at the last minute to two charges of acting in a racially aggravated manner and uttering racist comments.

A not guilty plea to assaulting Mr Bismillah was accepted by the Crown.

Sheriff Douglas Kinloch had adjourned the case at the end of last month to allow social workers to investigate.

He then told Wood: “I think the stage has been reached that reports are needed. Fines haven’t been effective in preventing you causing a disturbance and behaving in a way which is not acceptable, so I’m going to get background reports so that other options can be explored.”

The red-brick Mosque in Main Street, Deans, is run by Ahle-Sunnat Wal Jammat, the largest group of Sunni Muslims. They claim to be the only group whose beliefs and teachings properly follow Muslim holy book the Quran.