Tuesday, 3 November 2015

And so it begins……

A former soldier has been sentenced to 70 days in prison for setting fire to a copy of Muslim holy book the Koran in the centre of Carlisle.

Andrew Ryan had previously admitted religiously aggravated harassment and theft of a Koran from a library.

The 32-year-old, of Summerhill, said he had been "shocked" watching a Muslim burning a poppy on Remembrance Day.

Shoppers and schoolchildren witnessed the burning, outside the old Town Hall, on 19 January.

Sitting at Carlisle Magistrates' Court, District Judge Gerald Chalk described it as a case of "theatrical bigotry".

He said: "It was pre-planned by you as you stole the book deliberately.

"You went out to cause maximum publicity and to cause distress."

Ryan struggled with security guards in court after the sentence was passed.

While being handcuffed he shouted: "What about my country? What about burning poppies?"

About 10 people were in court to support Ryan, and as they left the court they shouted "do you call this justice?".

After sentencing, Insp Paul Marshall, of Cumbria Police, said: "This incident was highly unusual for Cumbria as we have such low levels of hate crime in the county."


Anonymous said...

Your piece is a bit mis-titled, the case referred to was in early 2011 so things are hardly 'beginning'.

Try as I may, I just can't get excited about seeing someone burn a poppy on the internet.

Personally I think people should be allowed to burn flags, bras, poppies, copies of the koran or whatever, so long as they own the item in question (and pay regard to the rules about safety and fires in public spaces). I think stealing is the crime here but I agree that 70 days is a bit severe for that.

Mind you, the guy had record of being a bit of a twat, perhaps the 70 days calmed him down.


John said...


I do wish you would stop just copying & pasting this sort of nonsense. It ruins what is normally an amusing and light hearted 'look-at-life' blog.

The case you are referring to occurred in 2011. There is only one reason why it would be raised at this time of year (4 years later) and that is to fester hatred, between Muslims and the English. If you have pasted it with that intention please say so, then we will all know where you stand.

JohnO said...

No surprise that this is a story that didn't make the BBC!!

There are many types of war. We seem to be losing on many fronts Maffi. On perhaps that makes me a religious bigot!! Should I turn myself in??