A Carlisle man has today pleaded guilty to the theft and intentional burning of a holy Koran at Carlisle Magistrates court.
Andrew Leslie Ryan, 32, of Summerhill, Carlisle, pleaded guilty to the theft of the Koran from the Lanes Library and to setting fire to the book as he stood at Carlisle Cross outside the Old Town Hall in Carlisle City Centre, shortly after midday on Wednesday 19th January 2011.
After witnesses saw Ryan set fire to the book, police arrested him shortly afterwards and he was subsequently charged. He is set to appear in Carlisle Magistrates Court for sentencing on 14 April 2011.
The investigation was led by Temporary Detective Inspector Helen Harkins of Carlisle CID. She said: “Cumbria police will not tolerate any form of hate crime and any reports that we receive are investigated thoroughly so that the appropriate action can be taken. It is rare to see an incident like this on the streets of Cumbria and I hope that the positive action from police in this case reassures communities that we will tackle unacceptable behaviour.“