Following on from an arson attack on a mosque in Gloucester on Tuesday morning, two local men have been charged with conspiracy to commit arson and remanded in custody. It’s interesting to note that Clive Ceronne, one of the accused, is a known far-right activist in the local area. He was previously involved with the Gloucester English Defence League ‘division’ as well as setting up and administrating the ‘South West Infidels’ Facebook page. Ceronne is also listed as the Gloucestershire ‘officer’ for the New British Union, you can find out more about him and his fellow fascists here.
A CHELTENHAM man has been charged with conspiracy to commit arson following a “hate crime” at a mosque.
Ashley Henry Juggins, 20, of Brooklyn Road will appear before magistrates today following the blaze in Gloucester.
Clive Michael Ceronne, 37, of 23 Redwood Close in Gloucester faces a similar charge after an attack on Masjid-E-Noor in Ryecroft Street in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
A number of mosques across the country have been targeted since Drummer Lee Rigby was killed in Woolwich last month.
Police confirmed yesterday it was being treated as a hate crime after CCTV appeared to show someone pouring petrol around the door and igniting it with a lit rag.
Officers initially believed a person could have been engulfed by the flames, but later stated no one was thought to be injured in the fire.
The fire left minimal damage to the place of worship’s doors after a Good Samaritan, believed to be a Polish taxi driver, leapt from his car and tackled the flames with a fire extinguisher.
Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue service confirmed flames were out when they arrived on the scene, just before 1am.
Since the attack police have been talking to the Muslim community in Cheltenham to allay fears. They have vowed to step up patrols around Gloucester’s mosques and said the two in Cheltenham were on current routes.
One Cheltenham Muslim, who only wanted to be identified as Mohamed, said any hate crime was sad for the community.
He said: “Many of us have been worried about reprisals since Lee Rigby, which was condemned by us all here in Cheltenham. Gloucestershire generally has a welcoming attitude to everyone and that is one of the reasons I live here. But something like this can make a community feel isolated.
“Personally the way to combat any kind of hate crime is by having a ‘business as usual’ approach and not being beaten, but it is tremendously hard when things like this happen.”
The Gloucester Muslim Welfare Association said in a statement: “The mosque will continue and remains committed to work towards promoting peace, tolerance and community cohesion across all sections of the community.”
Chief Inspector for Gloucester Richard Burge said: “Gloucestershire has a wonderfully diverse and welcoming community and people will be upset and angry about this.”
The pair who have now been charged were remanded in custody last night following their arrest.”