Man yelled racist abuse at mosque

A man unleashed a racist tirade outside a Scottish mosque shortly after drummer Lee Rigby was killed in London.

Grant Gallagher was heard shouting: “The soldier was innocent. He didn’t deserve to die – you terrorists killed him.” He angrily grabbed the gate of the mosque in Livingston, West Lothian, while yelling racist abuse.

Livingston Sheriff Court heard that an Asian man who had stopped his car and wound down the window and a woman having a cigarette in her garden nearby both heard Gallagher’s bizarre rant at 2am.

The prosecutor said: “It’s my understanding that the incident wasn’t protracted. It lasted a few minutes. Such was the concern that the police were summoned and the accused was detained and arrested some time later.”

He said Gallagher had made no reply when he was charged by the police. He added: “I have no information as to why he was shouting these things at the mosque in particular and I’m not told whether or not he was sober. He certainly was on his own at the time.”

Gallagher, 54, of Lime Grove, Livingston, pled guilty to behaving in a threatening and abusive manner on May 26 last year. He admitted shouting and swearing and making racist remarks during the incident, classed as a racially aggravated offence.

Gallagher originally appeared on petition charged with a solemn offence of brandishing a knife and challenging people to fight. But after the allegation was reduced to summary level the Crown accepted he was not guilty of those offences.

Lawyer Neil Robertson, defending, said the death of drummer Rigby had had a “profound effect” on his client.

Although the accused had been drinking with friends that day he had not spoken to them about the murder, he said. Mr Robertson added: “He did this spontaneously. There was no link between this and his activity earlier that day. He can’t really explain why he did what he did.”

Sheriff Martin Edington highlighted the fact that Gallagher had recently been banned for 18 months for a drink driving offence. The sheriff commented: “His alcohol reading can’t have been a low one”.

He deferred sentence for community payback order reports on Gallagher’s suitability for unpaid hours of work, supervision and restriction of liberty by electronic tagging.

Edinburgh Evening News, 18 February 2014