A judge has hit out at sentencing powers that prevented him from handing out a tougher punishment to a self-confessed racist who threatened to blow up a mosque. Judge Niclas Parry said he found it “quite staggering” a religiously aggravated public order offence could only attract a fine as a punishment for former soldier John Parkin.
Parkin, who was jailed for 10 months for being in breach of an earlier suspended sentence, escaped separate punishment on two charges of religiously aggravated public order offences following two separate outbursts against Muslims in Rhyl.
On one occasion, Parkin, 26, of River Street, Rhyl, was seen near Ellis’ public house in Water Street in Rhyl, where there was also a mosque, in a drunken condition and he was warned about his behaviour.
The licensee heard him say: “I have got guns. I want to shoot Muslims in the head.” He spoke about blowing up the mosque and the licensee found his remarks extremely racist and offensive, the court heard.
When police attended they found him shouting and remonstrating with security staff and he was arrested. Yet he continued with his racist tirade saying: “Muslims are taking over the country. They need to go back to their own country.”
He later told police: “I am a racist. I hate Muslims”, adding that he was a member of the English Defence League, although it was said in court that he was not. When interviewed, he said that he hated Muslims but would not say why.
Parkin was bailed but then on the night of Christmas Day he was refused entry into Ellis’ Bar because he was drunk and again indulged in a racist tirade. He said: “Muslims are allowed in but I am not.”
When questioned by police he said he was drunk and could not remember but agreed that he would make such comments and believed Muslims should not be in the country. “We don’t need them. They are taking over,” he said.
The two offences put him in breach of a 52 week prison sentence, which in June of last year was suspended for two years, following an attack on his then partner.
Sentencing Parkin today at Mold Crown Court, sitting in Chester, the judge branded him a racist and a bigot. “You typify the ignorance that poisons our society,” he said. “I frankly find it quite staggering, and I always have done, that the court’s sentencing powers for these matters are limited to a financial penalty.”
Odd, isn’t it, how members of the English Defence League suddenly cease to be members whenever they appear in court?
See also BBC News, 6 January 2012