September 17, 2011

Teenager admits sickening mosque attack

A teenager shouted racial abuse as he kicked and stamped on a 71-year-old grandfather’s head for 10 minutes. And he later sent a sickening text boasting about his horrifying actions.

At Kilmarnock Sheriff Court on Monday, the 16-year-old – who cannot be named for legal reasons – pleaded guilty to carrying out the vicious attack outside the Ayrshire Central Mosque in July. His victim, who had already suffered a stroke, sustained severe facial injuries in the unprovoked attack which took place in the early hours of the morning.

Nancy Beresford, prosecuting, said that the former Crosshouse shopkeeper had gone to the mosque, in Hill Street, Kilmarnock, to prepare for Friday prayers at around 1.40am. As he approached the door, clad in white robes, he noticed a male and two females, along with young children, standing in the street, with another group of females nearby.

The 16-year-old then came towards him shouting abuse, including “Paki bastard”. He punched the pensioner in the chest, causing him to fall to the ground. The teenager continued the assault, while still shouting abuse.

Said Mrs Beresford: “He became unconscious as a result of the attack. He was not aware of anything further until he woke up later in hospital.”

The assault was, however, witnessed, by two people watching from a flat in Hill Street.

“Their attention was attracted by shouting,” said Mrs Beresford. “They saw a figure lying on the ground and noticed the male attacker was kicking and stamping on the prostrate man’s head. This continued for what they thought was about 10 minutes.”

The attacker ran off into Witch Road.

The assault victim – described as a pillar of the community and well-known in the Kilmarnock area for 40 years by the chairman of the mosque – was found lying in a pool of blood by two other members of the mosque. He was taken by ambulance to Crosshouse Hospital. He was found to have a number of severe facial fractures and swelling. Fortunately, however, he had no fractures to his skull.

Mrs Beresford said that, as a result of media reports, police received a number of anonymous calls naming the attacker. CCTV evidence also established that he had been in the area at the time of the assault. And footage from cameras at the Diageo plant in Hill Street showed a male matching his description walking towards the mosque with two girls.

Mrs Beresford said that police were able to identify and trace one of the females. She named the accused.

Said Mrs Beresford: “She described him punching him, knocking him to the ground and kicking and stamping on him several times. A further witness had received a text message from him in the early hours stating: ‘I have just left a Paki in a puddle of blood’.”

Police swooped on the teenager’s home where they failed to find him, but seized a number of items. He was later discovered hiding in the loft of a Kilmarnock house. Interviewed, he denied the assault and racial abuse.

The 16-year-old told police that he couldn’t understand “why somebody was praying at that time in the morning”.

Allan Kerr, defending, told Sheriff Iona McDonald that she would require to obtain reports before sentencing the teenager as he was 16 and subject to the supervision of the Children’s Panel.

“He is presently at a place of safety,” said the solicitor.

Sheriff McDonald deferred sentence until next month for a social work report and the advice of the Children’s Panel. She told the teen: “You have pleaded guilty to a serious assault. It is nothing short of appalling.”

Kilmarnock Standard

Thanks to Zaahid for the heads-up

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