Sunday, July 31, 2011

Muslim teenagers convicted of criminal damage after spraying burkas onto scantily-clad models in Lynx poster Read more:

Two Muslim teenagers have admitted defacing advertising hoardings featuring scantily-clad models and painting a 'burka' over them because they offended their religious views.

Mohammed Hasnath and Muhammed Tahir, both 18, used black paint to cover up the picture of a female model on a hoarding advertising Lynx deodorant.

The duo proceeded to paint over the faces on several other advertisements around London's East End, claiming it was a 'sin' for them to be uncovered. 

'We wanted to do good': Mohammed Hasnath outside Thames Magistrates Court where he was charged with six counts of criminal damage'We wanted to do good': Mohammed Tahir outside Thames Magistrates Court where he was charged with six counts of criminal damage
The youths, who represented themselves, had both denied initial charges of religious aggravated criminal damage.

However, they both pleaded guilty to six counts of criminal damage when they appeared at Thames Magistrates Court in east London.

Taiwo Akinrowo, prosecuting, told the court: 'On the morning of February 26th this year a member of the public called the police because they had seen three males damaging the bus shelters.

'One of the males was seen to paint on the female angel in the advert for Lynx. On the other side was an advert for the film 'Drive Angry' and this male was seen to paint on the female image next to Nicholas Cage.

'Police were called and began to monitor the males and they saw them walking along Whitechapel Road towards Osborne Street where they then used the paint on the window of the Money Shop on the faces of the females.

Revealing: Tahir and Hasnath defaced a Lynx poster similar to this one which shows model Kelly Brook
They were then stopped by police, arrested and interviewed they gave full and frank admissions as to what they had done
'They told them that the way the women had been photographed was against their religion and they said it was a sin in Islam for a male to look twice at a woman who is not covered.

'If a man looks at a woman the first time it could be accidental, but if they look again it is a sin and they did not want children and other people seeing the image of these woman who were not covered.

'Consequently they began to paint over burkas around the faces of the women. When arrested, Mr Hasnath's clothes were covered in black paint and they also had the brushes on them.

'Both have admitted painting over them. At first, they did not think it was a bad thing to do but they accept that it was not legal because it was not their property.
'The defendants had the option on the first appearance to plead guilty to the simple matter and they did not.'

Referring to the fact that the charges were originally religious aggravated criminal damage, Hasnath told the court: 'We don't have anything against anyone.

'We have black friends, white friends and Chinese friends. We are not racist.

'The pictures - that is someone's daughter. If someone was to look at our wife or mother or daughter with a bad intention we would not like it so we were just trying to do good.'

Hasnath, of Poplar, and Tahir, of Tower Hamlets, both east London, were both ordered to pay costs of £283 each and were each released on a 12 month conditional discharge.

A third defendant, Abdul Hakim Langaigne, 24, of Thamesmead, south east London, who was also charged with six counts of criminal damage, failed to appear in court.

 A warrant was issued for his arrest. 

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