A racist who smashed around twenty windows at a hotel providing accommodation to refugees in Shrewsbury was found guilty at Kidderminster Magistrates Court yesterday (April 26).
Rory Allington-Mott, 33, admitted racially aggravated criminal damage, which police estimate caused thousands of pounds of damage to the hotel during the afternoon of April 20.
The Lion Hotel announced late last year that it would close its doors to customers and help give temporary accommodation to refugees in line with an ongoing government scheme. A statement from the hotel at the time read: “We are working with the Government to welcome people who desperately need a roof over their head – often people who have escaped war-torn countries, and are seeking a safe place to stay while they wait for a more permanent home,” adding that would it provide ongoing employment to its staff and leave them in “good stead for the future”.
Weeks later, West Mercia Police responded to a bomb threat against the hotel on December 9, 2022, causing an area evacuation for several hours until officers declared it a hoax.
The MyShrewsbury newspaper interviewed several refugees, including Afghan men who fled the Taliban, fearing violence – leaving behind family, children and wives. Other refugees mentioned included a Ukrainian man who provided free haircuts.
Whilst the article highlighted positive community schemes and support, it also highlighted the abuse directed towards the refugees – including online comments linking them to crime.
Allington-Mott, who is not from Shrewsbury, but 93 miles away in the High Street area of Newport, received a 24-week prison sentence suspended for one year. He must also carry out 120 hours of unpaid work, compensate the Lion Hotel to the sum of £1680, pay a victim surcharge of £154 and costs of £185.
The investigating officer PC Chloe Spiers said: “We are really pleased with the quick and efficient way in which this case has been dealt with. I hope this reassures our communities that we will act quickly and decisively to bring offenders to justice.”