A construction worker has been sentenced after threatening to blow up an Islamic bookstore following the Manchester terror attack.

David Moffatt, 39, pleaded guilty to one count of religiously aggravated intentional harassment, alarm and distress at Willesden Magistrates’ Court, on July 28.

Police responded to a call on May 23 to reports that a man had entered Cricklewood Islamic Bookstore in north London, and had shouted “all Muslims should be killed,” “this shop should be bombed,” and “go back to your own country”. After making threats, he left the store.

Witnesses and the victim identified the suspect by his orange high-visibility jacket and trousers.

Mr. Moffatt was arrested after making an unrelated call to police that day, alleging that he had been assaulted. Officers then noticed that was wearing the same outfit.

Following his initial arrest, he told officers: “I’m not anti-Muslim, I’m Catholic.”

CCTV evidence later placed him inside the bookstore at the date and time of the hate crime. He was charged the next day.

The prosecution later outlined how Mr. Moffatt had also told two individuals outside that “all Muslims should be killed” and “go back to your own country”.

Representing himself, Mr. Moffatt denied making these statements. In his own words, he had entered the shop and said: “You have killed innocent people, you have blood on your hands, go back to your own country”.

This argument, however, was rejected by Magistrate Penelope Allen.

Detective Inspector Madeline Ryder, from Brent’s Community Safety Unit, said: “Hate crime is unacceptable and Brent’s Community Safety Unit is committed to tackling hate crime in all its forms, supporting victims and their families and bringing perpetrators like Moffatt to justice.”

Mr. Moffatt was sentenced to a community order with an unpaid work requirement of 100 hours within 12 months and to pay £620 in costs and a victim surcharge of £85.

Hate Crime can be reported through 999 in an emergency, by dialling 101 in a non-emergency, directly at a police station, through the MOPAC Hate Crime app.

You can get advice through our confidential and free helpline on 0800 456 1226. Or through our free iOS or Android apps. Report through our online form. Or contact us via WhatsApp on 0734 184 6086.

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