Pair wrapped bacon around door handles of Edinburgh mosque

Making a meal: Edinburgh Central Mosque.
Mosque: Bacon was wrapped around the handles of the door and thrown inside.© STV

A teenage girl and man have been jailed for defacing a mosque with strips of bacon.

Chelsea Lambie, 18, from Paisley, and Douglas Cruikshank, from Galashiels, wrapped bacon around the door handles on the Central Mosque in Edinburgh and threw strips inside on January 31 last year.

Usman Mahmood, a security guard at the mosque, told the trial why it was offensive for the bacon to be in the mosque.

He said: "I was surprised if a person did it for a joke. It is against our culture and religion. We do not eat pork or even touch it.

"I felt very bad seeing this meat in my sacred place. It hurt my feelings when I saw this meat hanging inside the mosque in the worshipping area. It was very disturbing."

He added the situation could have been "much worse" if there had been more people in the mosque. There was only one man in the prayer room at the time.

The jury were shown CCTV footage from a Tesco store in Dalkeith, Midlothian where two men and a woman could be seen inside at 4.45am on the day of the attack. The woman asked an assistant is she knew where to get the bus to the mosque.

Footage from the Co-op on Nicolson Street, Edinburgh shows the same people at 5.55am, buying two packets of bacon.

CCTV from outside the mosque a short time later shows the trio arrive. Bacon was put on the door handles and the woman took a picture of the men outside the mosque. The three then ran off laughing.

When Lambie was arrested, police looked on her mobile phone.

Messages sent on January 31 included: "Going to invade a mosque, because we can go where we want."

Another says: "Went to the mosque in Edinburgh and wrapped bacon round the door handles, opened the door and threw it in ha ha ha."

Internet searches on the phone revealed a location for the mosque and addresses for taxis in Gorebridge and Dalkeith.

Lambie said she had been at her boyfriend’s house in Gorebridge throughout the attack and said her phone was used by many people.

Cruikshank pleaded guilty to the attack during the trial and Lambie was found guilty by the jury.

Defence lawyer Gordon Ritchie said his client had become involved in the Scottish Defence League through family connections and has since moved back to Paisley to distance herself from the group.

Cruikshank’s lawyer, Mark Harrower, said his client had been drinking heavily for 48 hours before the attack and has since expressed empathy for the people at the mosque.

Lambie was sentenced to a year in prison and Cruikshank to nine months.

The third person involved in the attack, Wayne Stilwel from Gorebridge, was sentenced to ten months after pleading guilty last August.

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