Scottish Daily Mail

Jailed, the anti-Muslim thugs who stuck bacon on the doors of a mosque

- By Gordon Smith

A TEENAGE girl and a man who desecrated a mosque with strips of bacon have been jailed.

Chelsea Lambie, 18, and Douglas Cruikshank, 39, were given custodial sentences for their part in the attack in January last year.

They wrapped bacon around the main door handles of the Central Mosque in Edinburgh’s Potterrow and threw bacon into the premises.

They were originally accused of a racially aggravated offence. But on the final day of evidence at Edinburgh Sheriff Court, Sheriff Alistair Noble deleted racial aggravatio­n from the indictment and the pair were convicted of threatenin­g and abusive behaviour.

Lambie, of Paisley, Renfrewshi­re, was yesterday given a 12-month sentence in a young offenders’ institute.

Cruikshank, of Galashiels, Selkirkshi­re, was jailed for nine months.

A third accused, Wayne Stilwel, 25, of Gorebridge, Midlothian, was sentenced to ten months’ imprisonme­nt at an

‘Felt very bad in my sacred place’

earlier date after admitting his part in the incident.

All three are associated with the Scottish Defence League. Lambie previously admitted during a police interview to being a member of the antiIslam group.

Sheriff Noble said: ‘It does not seem to me there is any way to deal with this case other than by custody.’

During the five- day trial, a security guard at the mosque, 34-year-old Usman Mahmood, told the jury of eight women and seven men: ‘I was surprised if a person did it for a joke. It is against our culture and religion.

‘We do not eat pork or even touch it. I felt very bad seeing this meat in my sacred place. It hurt my feelings when I saw this meat hanging inside the mosque in the worshippin­g area. It was very disturbing.’

He added that the situation could have been ‘much worse’ if there had been more people in the mosque. Only one man was present in the prayer room at the time.

During the trial, the jury saw CCTV r ecordings f r om a number of local premises.

Footage showed two men and a woman going into a store at 5.55am and buying two packets of bacon. A short time later the same trio, all hooded, arrived at the mosque.

Bacon was placed around the door handles and as the woman took a picture of the men on her mobile phone, they turned to face her. Bacon was removed from one of the handles and thrown inside onto the glass partition. The three then ran away laughing.

Police later identified Lambie, Cruikshank and Stilwel.

When Lambie was arrested at her boyfriend’s home in Gorebridge, a mobile phone was found in her clothing.

Messages sent i ncluded: ‘Going to invade a mosque, because we can go where we want.’ A message to the phone asked: ‘ What you do l ast night?’ and the reply was: ‘Went to the mosque in Edinburgh and wrapped bacon r ound t he door handles, opened the door and threw it in ha ha ha.’

Lambie’s defence solicitor, Gordon Ritchie, told Sheriff Noble his client had become involved in the SDL through close family connection­s and had gone along with the offence. She had now taken steps to distance herself from the organisati­on.

Appearing for Cruikshank, Mark Harrower said his client

‘This blight will not be allowed’

had been drinking heavily for 48 hours before the raid.

‘He thought his actions were a j oke at the time but has expressed empathy that it was unpleasant for the witnesses at the mosque,’ the lawyer added.

Speaking following sentencing, John Logue, procurator fiscal for the East of Scotland, said: ‘The Muslim community are a valued and integral part of Scottish society and there is no place for such attacks.

‘As we strive to become a fairer and more tolerant society to live in, we will not let it be blighted by a narrowmind­ed and hateful minority.’

 ??  ?? Text messages: Chelsea Lambie boasted of her crime
Text messages: Chelsea Lambie boasted of her crime
 ??  ?? Jailed: Douglas Cruikshank flaunts bacon pack on Facebook
Jailed: Douglas Cruikshank flaunts bacon pack on Facebook
 ??  ?? Desecrated: The Edinburgh mosque
Desecrated: The Edinburgh mosque

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