A SELF-CONFESSED nationalist with ties to the far-right English Defence League (EDL) was jailed this week for attacking a Braintree mosque in the wake of the Woolwich murder.
Geoffrey Ryan, 44, of Brick Kiln Way, Braintree, threw a smoke grenade through the window of the Al Falah mosque in Silks Way and threatened to kill Saruk Miah, who was going to start evening prayers but was forced to escape onto a flat roof.
Ryan, a builder, admitted at Chelmsford Crown Court on Monday two counts of possessing a knife, one count of affray and one count of threatening unlawful violence, and was jailed for nine months.
The court heard how Ryan, a father-of-two, had gone to the prayer centre armed with two knives and a yellow smoke grenade at 7pm on May 22, the same day that drummer Lee Rigby was murdered on the streets of Woolwich, sparking riots.
Mr Miah, 46, from Braintree, was the only person in the building at the time and was upstairs.
When he heard the explosion, followed by shouting from Ryan, he managed to climb out onto the flat roof of the mosque to call police.
Then Ryan shouted: “******* come out, I’m going to kill you. Let’s see if Allah or God come to help you.”
Whilst brandishing the knives, Ryan then shouted: “I’ll kill you Muslims, I’ll kill you before the police come, come downstairs, come out, I’m going to cut your throat.”
Miah said: “I was so scared I didn’t know what was going on. When I got onto the roof I called the police and they came and arrested the guy.”
When officers arrived Ryan refused to drop his weapons and police had to use batons to subdue him, something his defence lawyer said left him with a broken arm.
In a hearing at Colchester Magistrates’ Court in May, Ryan was refused bail. The excuse for this was “fears over his current mental state.”
Detective Constable Andy Young, the investigating officer, said: “This incident at the Al Falah prayer centre caused unnecessary fear, not only for the people who witnessed it, but also local residents at a time when emotions were already running high due to the death of drummer Lee Rigby in London.
Ryan distanced himself form the EDL due to a schism that formed in the organisation, around the revelations that Tommy Robinson, EDL leader was being financed by Ultra Zionist Jews in America, intent on using the British public to fight their battle.
Sentencing, Judge Goldstaub QC (a Jew), said: “It was an attack that was both racial and religiously motivated and it’s the kind of thing that won’t be tolerated in this country, which is a tolerant country that deals with matters through the judicial process and not people taking the law into their own hands.”
Ryan was sentenced to nine months for each offence, to be served concurrently, with time spent in custody deducted, which means hopefully, he could be out in six weeks.