Muslim grave vandals spared jail

Three boys who desecrated dozens of Muslim graves have each been given 12-month rehabilitation orders. The trio, aged 14, 16, and 17, carried out the attacks in a cemetery in Charlton, south-east London, on 17 March last year. They were found guilty of conspiracy to commit religiously aggravated criminal damage at an earlier hearing.

A judge at Inner London Crown Court ordered them to wear electronic tags and be under curfew for three months. Judge Lindsay Burn at Inner London Crown Court said: “You agreed to go together into that cemetery and deliberately damage graves.

“The jury were convinced, and I am satisfied, that at least one of your motivations was hostility to the religious beliefs of those buried in that section of the cemetery, namely those of the Muslim faith. That in itself is extremely serious conduct.”

He told them their behaviour had caused great distress to the relatives of the deceased, and the public. Some of the graves vandalised belonged to children.

BBC News, 1 April 2005