A MAN who stuck bacon to the handles of an Edinburgh mosque has been jailed for ten months.
Wayne Stilwel, 25, also threw rashers of bacon into the place of worship but was later caught when he was identified on CCTV.
His actions, at the Central Mosque in Potterrow, were described as “grossly offensive” by a sheriff.
Stilwel admitted breach of the peace and was jailed for the January 31 offence when he appeared at Edinburgh Sheriff Court yesterday.
Foysol Choudhury, chairman of Edinburgh and Lothian Regional Equality Council, today welcomed the jail term given to Stilwel and called on “all religions to be respected”.
Speaking after sentencing, Mr Choudhury said: “I really welcome the sheriff’s decision to impose a jail sentence in this case.
“We live in what is always called a ‘multi-cultural society’ and I think we need to work together and prove that is true.
“We need to respect everyone’s religion or culture, whatever it may be.
“Hopefully a sentence like this will act as a lesson to show people that all religions need to be respected.”
The court heard that Islam prohibits its followers from consuming products made of
pork and that Stilwel’s actions offended people at the mosque.
Following the attack, Stilwel admitted to police officers that he was aware his behaviour could cause offence.
Sentence on Stilwel, an inmate at the city’s Saughton jail, had been deferred by Sheriff Gordon Liddle to obtain reports about the offender’s character.
The sheriff told Stilwel that the court had no other option and that a prison sentence was “inevitable”.
At an earlier hearing, the court heard from depute procurator fiscal Ian Wallace.
Mr Wallace said that police were called to the mosque following the attack.
He told the court that police later traced Stilwel and arrested him.
He said: “He said he was aware of the significance of the bacon.”
Defence solicitor Matthew Nicholson yesterday told the court that his client was sorry for his crime and accepted that he would be going to prison.
Mr Nicholson added: “He fully realises that he will receive a custodial sentence.”
A separate story we told in June explained how a planned visit to the mosque by pupils from Newtongrange Primary had to be cancelled.