Man avoids jail for placing pig's head outside Thurnby Lodge community centre
A man who placed a pig's head outside the front gates of a Thurnby Lodge community centre used by Muslims has been given a suspended prison sentence.
Liam Ferrar (24) appeared at Leicester Magistrates' Court today for sentence after he had pleaded guilty to committing religiously aggravated harassment aimed at the Muslim community.
Ferrars went to Thurnby Lodge Community Centre, in Thurncourt Road, Leicester, in the early hours of December 26 last year and placed the head by the locked doors.
The head was facing outwards, towards the worshippers from Muslim group As Salaam who arrived at the centre later that morning.
District Judge John Temperley, sentencing Ferrar to 12 weeks in jail suspended for 12 months, he said: "You were well aware of the significance of your actions.
"You knew that what you did would cause great distress, indeed that was your intention."
He added: "The pig's head was positioned in such a way that it could not be avoided by all those, including potentially young children, who had the misfortune to enter the building that morning."
He added: "It is easy to imagine the shock, distress and disgust they would have felt."
He said the harm that his actions caused, committed at a time of demonstrations over the lack of community facilities, required a custodial sentence.
But Mr Temperley said Ferrar's remorse, previous good character and work in the local community had saved him from going to prison immediately.
However Ferrar was ordered to complete 250 hours unpaid work.
The court was told that Ferrar had been drinking when he planted the head early on Boxing Day, December 26.
The court heard that he had acquired it at a wedding barbecue the previous summer, and kept it in a freezer at his Thurnby Lodge home.
After the hearing lawyer Stephen Morris, for Ferrar, of Brook Road, said: "My client wishes to apologise to the As Salaam Trust for any distress his actions have caused them. He is deeply sorry for what he did."