Chesterfield’s Muslim community claims it has suffered an increase in racist abuse after the alleged murder of soldier Lee Rigby.
Two thugs who were convicted for being racially abusive on Cavendish Street in the town claimed they had been angered by the death of Fusilier Lee Rigby who was allegedly hacked to death in Woolwich, in May, by two converts to Islam.
Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard how Peter Levers, 33, of Circular Road, Staveley, was caught shouting, “Muslims, I’ll kill them all”, and in a separate case involving Mark Carr, 41, of Holme Road, Chesterfield, two Muslim women were subjected to racist abuse and swear-words during an incident where the comment ‘go back to your own country’ was heard.
A Chesterfield Muslim Welfare Association spokesman, who did not want to be named, said: “The issue seems to have been about Woolwich which has affected the Muslim community. Some groups have latched on to it and used it for their twisted purposes, and the Chesterfield Muslim community is suffering with abuse, but we try and get on with our lives.”
Former Navy serviceman Carr racially insulted two Muslim women in Chesterfield town centre and was ordered last Thursday, July 25, to pay £1,000 in compensation.
The court heard how the 41 year-old had been drinking before abusing the women on May 25.
Prosecuting solicitor Becky Mahon said one of the women had children in a double buggy. Carr pleaded guilty to using racially aggravated threatening behaviour and causing racially aggravated distress. He told police he felt angry because of the death of Lee Rigby.
Matt Evans, defending, said Carr is remorseful and does not hold extremist views. Carr was given a 12 month community order with 120 hours’ unpaid work and also ordered to pay £85 costs and a £60 victim surcharge.
During a previous case, the court heard on June 24 how Levers was caught by police shouting at a taxi driver and said, “Muslims, I’ll kill them all”, and was fined £120.
Levers had been out drinking for around 16 hours before the incident in the early hours of May 24. He pleaded guilty to racially aggravated harassment.
Defence solicitor Bob Bashforth told the court Lee Rigby was in Levers’ mind and in his drunken state “it came to the surface”.
He was ordered to pay a £20 victim surcharge and £80 costs. The MWA spokesman added: “Abuse was prevalent after Woolwich but it has started to die down now.”
Victims should call police on 101.