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article imageMosque fire bombing, former soldiers, sentenced to six years jail

By Eileen Kersey     Dec 20, 2013 in Crime
Kingston Upon Hull - Two former British soldiers appeared at Hull Crown Court Friday where they were found guilty of fire bombing a Mosque, in the days following the brutal murder of Fusilier Lee Rigby.
Former soldiers Stuart Harness, 34, and Gavin Humphries, 37, were caught in the act as they fire bombed a mosque in Grimsby, in May. CCTV cameras at one of the mens' property caught the pair red-handed, making bombs. Both men believed the CCTV was turned off but they were wrong.
In court Friday Harness and Humphries, both of Dixon Avenue, Grimsby, "admitted arson being reckless as to whether life was endangered."
They each received a six-year jail term.
Lee Rigby's murder in May caused outrage in the UK and beyond. Many people of Muslim faith were also shocked by the murder. Some people, however, tried to use the terrible event for their own ends, especially those with an anti-Muslim propaganda message.
As former soldiers, Harness and Humphries were obviously appalled at Lee's murder, but they should have known better than to make bombs and use them.
It was a miracle that no person was injured in the bomb attack. The men threw their homemade bombs at the doors of the Mosque, as terrified worshipers hid inside. One worshiper braved the fire, running through with an extinguisher to try to quell the flames.
The attack, which took place on May 26, was allegedly meant as a reprisal for Rigby's murder, which was carried out by two Muslim converts.
However, the Mosque had experienced attacks previously, meaning that community support officers checked the site regularly. They caught the two men in the act and made chase.
The chase led the officers straight to Harness's home. Camera's had been installed in the backyard and had captured footage of both men making petrol bombs. The men thought that when the laptop was closed the camera was turned off, which was an incorrect assumption. They had also believed that CCTV cameras at the Mosque were not working but they were.
A third man, Daniel Cressey, 25, of New Holland, North Lincolnshire, was also jailed for his part in the attack. Cressey was found guilty of aiding and abetting Harness and Humphries by driving them to the mosque. He also received a six-year jail term.
In sentencing the men Hull Crown Court, Judge Mark Bury, told them:
"Whatever your feelings of outrage were, you should have allowed justice to take its course.
"Instead you carried out a retaliatory act of throwing petrol bombs at the Grimsby Islamic Cultural Centre.
"As is usual in these cases, the victims had nothing to do with the events that so enraged you.
"They were entirely innocent law-abiding Muslims who were practising their religion in a peaceable way."
More about mosque bombers, lee rigby, grimsby mosque, Grimsby Islamic Cultural Centre, stuart harness
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