Mohammed Hasnath posted a whole bunch of these stickers around the East End of London (where I work):
“Basically, some people just handed them to me so I just put them up. I didn’t say anything, it doesn’t say that I am going to punish them it just says what God says in the Koran.
“I wasn’t the one who made them, some people gave them to me and I only put up a few, there were hundreds of them up. I didn’t know the police were going to get involved or that it was a offence or anything.”
And in response he was given a slap on the wrist:
Hasnath, who lives with his family in Tower Hamlets and survives on job seekers allowance, was fined £100, ordered to pay £85 costs and a £15 victim surcharge. The offence could not carry a custodial sentence.
District Judge Coleman said: “I think you used these stickers deliberately to offend and distress people, you certainly succeeded in doing that.
“You have upset people and they deserve an apology, you are not entitled to behave in this way.”
An apology? £100? Inciting homophobic hatred in the community is worthy of a trivial fine and a demand for an apology? This asshole should be in jail! What if that sticker had said ‘Muslim free zone’? ‘Jew free zone’? I can’t believe that a message of outright hatred, with the clear implicit threat of violence, wouldn’t merit a custodial sentence. Turns out it could have – last month the CPS said:
“This case has now been referred to the CPS Special Crime and Counter Terrorism Division to consider whether a section 29C (1) of Public Order Act 1986 offence should be added. This offence is committed if a person uses threatening words or behaviour, or displays any written material which is threatening, if they intend thereby to stir up hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation.”
So they decided not to bother even trying to jail him for up to six months, sending out a message that there are no meaningful consequences to anti-gay extremism like this. Others have pointed it out for many other reasons recently, but it’s clear that there’s something really rotten at the heart of the Crown Prosecution Service.
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