Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

'Bigot' jailed for fire attack on Edinburgh mosque

Thomas Conington Image copyright Police Scotland

A man who admitted a petrol bomb attack on an Edinburgh mosque has been sent to prison.

Thomas Conington, 29, started a fire at the Central Mosque last September, causing minor damage. No one was hurt.

He earlier pleaded guilty to a string of crimes including wilful fire-raising aggravated by religious prejudice.

At the High Court in Glasgow, Lord Burns imposed an Order for Lifelong Restriction. Conington must serve at least three years and nine months.

Public protection

Conington had already started a fire at the mosque a year earlier.

Lord Burns said he appeared to be someone who "relishes violence".

He said: "As stated, you are a bigot and have a long history of behaviour of that nature.

"The risk assessment gives a chilling insight to your attitude towards ethnic minorities.

"You appear to be someone who relishes violence and may attack strangers randomly and without reason.

"The risk is a high one and the public require protection from you for a very long time."

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Media captionThe attack on the mosque caused minor damage

He also said it was "fortunate" no one was hurt during the incident at the mosque in the capital's Potterow.

However, Lord Burns added the courts will do what they can to "protect" those who attend places of worship.

The court earlier heard Conington described as a "racist individual".

Matthew Auchincloss, defending, added: "He was acting alone. He was not trying to further any cause or was part of any wider philosophy.

"He was not acting on instruction. This is a very disturbed young man."

Det Insp Grant Johnston, of Police Scotland, said: "Conington specifically targeted Edinburgh's Islamic community by attacking the mosque.

"Everyone has the right to feel safe in their community. There is no place for prejudice in society and Police Scotland is committed to tackling these offences wherever and whenever they occur."

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