VIDEO shows the moment a man threw a petrol bomb at the Central Mosque in Edinburgh,
Thomas Conington, 29, was today given an Order of Lifelong Restriction and will serve at least three years and nine months in jail.
The High Court in Glasgow heard that the attack took place a little after 2am on September 18, 2016 when Conington ignited a Molotov cocktail, which consisted of a clear glass bottle filled with petrol, and threw it over the fence of the mosque in Potterrow.
The bottle smashed and burst into flames on the steps of the entrance setting fire to the door.
The court heard that a month earlier, Conington had approached the same mosque heavily intoxicated and was arrested for being aggressive and racially abusive when he was refused entry.
Gayfield CID carried out enquiries that led to the identification and arrest of Conington.
Conington pled guilty to wilful fire-raising, behaving in a threatening manner and a charge under the Explosives Act at Glasgow High Court on Wednesday, January 18. All charges were deemed to have religious aggravators.
He was also convicted of making racially offensive and sectarian remarks towards a security guard at a local supermarket.
Andrew Richardson, Procurator Fiscal for Lothian and Borders, said: “Everyone has the right to live free from violence, threats, intimidation or the fear of harassment or abuse stemming from the prejudice of another person.
“To be targeted because of race, colour or faith is totally unacceptable.
“Hopefully the conviction and sentencing of Thomas Conington will send a strong message to those who engage in this abhorrent behaviour that they will face the full force of the law.
“We are determined to work alongside colleagues in the criminal justice system to do all in our power to prevent these crimes and to bring those who commit them to justice.”
Detective Inspector Grant Johnston said: “Conington specifically targeted Edinburgh’s Islamic community by attacking the mosque.
“Everyone has the right to feel safe in their community. There is no place for prejudice in society and Police Scotland is committed to tackling these offences wherever and whenever they occur.”
“We take all reports of hate crime with the upmost seriousness. All reported incidents will be investigated thoroughly by officers in order to ensure that perpetrators such as Conington are brought to justice.
“We will continue to work with the Islamic community with the support of our partners to stop this type of criminality from taking place.”