Newport mosque ‘melee’ after Lee Rigby murder outburst

Newport mosque ‘melee’ after Lee Rigby murder outburst

Salal Said - Newport Crown Court. Pictured is Salal Said leaving Newport Crown Court. (8784933)

Salal Said - Newport Crown Court. Pictured is Salal Said leaving Newport Crown Court. (8784906)

First published in News
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A MUSLIM worshipper triggered a mêlée inside a mosque after remonstrating with an imam for condemning the murder of Lee Rigby outside Woolwich Barracks, a court heard.

Salal Said, 50, was appearing before Judge Peter Haywood to appeal his conviction against a common assault and a racially aggravated public order offence at Jamia Mosque in Newport.

Said, of Dunn Square, Newport, stood up during the Friday service shouting that what the murderers had done to the British soldier was right and it happened all over the world, a court heard on Thursday yesterday [July 30].

Said then hurled racial insults at members of the congregation, which started an “unsightly mêlée” in the prayer room, Newport Crown Court heard.

The outburst came two days after the London atrocities on May 24 last year, the court heard.

Said left the mosque in Commercial Road with grazes to the face and neck before being arrested by police, the court was told.

The court was told that while he was in a police custody, he said - the court was told: “I’ll blow your country. I’ll blow you people. I’ve done f*** all.”.

Judge Haywood, together with two justices, threw out the common assault charge but ruled the public order offence should stand.

CCTV played to the bench showed how members of the congregation surrounded Said after he confronted the mosque imam Rafiqur Rehman.

The footage then shows a commotion unfolding at the back of the room involving “pushing and shoving” described by Judge Haywood as an “unsightly mêlée”.

Said was charged with a common assault against a member of the congregation called Mohammed Ashraf, but the bench threw out the charge after reviewing the footage and hearing from inconsistencies from witness accounts.

However, they upheld the racially aggravated charge of using alarm, distress or insulting words or behaviour contrary to the Crime and Disorder Act 1998.

Said told the court he was “not a bad person,” believed in peace and had gone to the mosque to pray.

Judge Hayman quashed his £300 common assault fine and imposed a £150 fine for the public order offence and £250 costs.

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