BY YANN TEAR
A man who was caught on video making offensive comments about the New Zealand mosque attack, which killed 51 people and left 49 injured, has pleaded guilty to religiously aggravated harassment.
Dean Dyer 38, a construction worker was drunk and on board a London Overground train service between West Croydon and Canada Water on March 19 this year when he made religiously offensive comments about the Christchurch attack in front of shocked passengers.
He was sentenced to a £400 fine at Westminster Magistrates’ Court.
It would have been £200 but the court doubled the sentence after an application by the Crown Prosecution Service, based on the fact that the offence was motivated by and showed hostility towards members of a religion.
His conviction comes in the same week that the CPS published its annual hate crime report, which showed that 605 cases were prosecuted as faith-based hate crimes in England and Wales in the 12 months to March 2019.
Of those, 507 ended in a conviction and 76 per cent of those received a sentence increase to
reflect the true nature of the hate crime.
In the video, which was posted on YouTube by an unnamed user, Dyer admitted his hatred for Muslims and showed no sympathy for the 50 victims of the New Zealand terrorist attack.
The video, which was recorded a few days after the Christchurch shooting, was sent to a Mail Online journalist, who reported it to the British Transport Police.
Numerous attempts were made to locate Dyer at his home and other locations, without success. When he was eventually located, he accepted that the comments he made were religiously offensive but claimed he could not remember the incident.
He went on to say that he would not have said those things if he had not been drunk.
He admitted causing religiously aggravated harassment, alarm or distress by words.
Emma Lineton, from the West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service, said: “Dean Dyer denied being a bigot, but his actions have proven otherwise.
“He has admitted his guilt and will now pay the price for his actions.
“Anti-Muslim abuse is a serious issue and has no place in society. We will not tolerate it in any way, shape or form.”
Australian national Brenton Tarrant, 28, was charged with terrorism offences after the New Zealand gun attacks on a mosque and an islamic centre.
He has pleaded not guilty to 51 murders and 40 attempted murders. His trial is expected to take place in June next year.
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