Mosque attacker given ten years for ‘sadistic’ attacks on fellow inmates

Thomas Connington was given a lifelong restriction order in 2017 after setting fire to an Edinburgh mosque.

Edinburgh mosque attacker given ten years for ‘sadistic’ attacks on fellow inmates PA Media

A man jailed for trying to burn down a mosque has been sentenced to a further ten years for “premediated, sadistic and violent” attacks on four other prisoners.

Thomas Connington, 36, pleaded guilty to attacking the four men at HMP Perth between May 2021 and June 2023, while subject to a lifelong restriction order imposed following the 2016 attack on the Central Mosque in Edinburgh.

Edinburgh High Court heard he threw boiling water at inmate Gordon Simpson on May 20, 2021, causing him second-degree burns, and on August 13 that year he used a toothbrush with a razorblade embedded in it to slash Adam Fraser, permanently disfiguring him.

He then attacked inmates Liam Russell and Sam Roan with a toothbrush with a blade in it on June 23 2023, leaving the men seriously injured and permanently disfigured.

Judge Lord Fairley told the court the attacks were “premeditated, sadistic and violent”.

He told Connington: “In 2017 you were made subject to an order for lifelong restriction.

“The judge who imposed the order described you as someone who relishes violence and who may attack strangers randomly and without reason. That description seems to me to be emphatically borne out.”

He told Connington that it was up to the probation service to decide whether or not he should ever be released from his lifelong restriction order, but warned him each new offence “decreases the likelihood you will be deemed suitable for release back into society”.

“The only person who can change that will be you,” he said.

He sentenced Connington to a further ten years in prison, to begin as soon as his existing sentence ends.

Connington, who attended the hearing via videolink from HMP Low Moss, showed no reaction as the sentence was handed down.

Earlier, prosecutor BJ Gill KC told the court that Connington had “numerous previous convictions for violence”, including a number of attacks on fellow prisoners.

Connington’s advocate, Kris Gilmartin, acknowledged there was “scant mitigation” for his client’s actions, but said they arose as a result of conflict with other prisoners, and were never directed at prison staff.

He said: “They all relate to conflict or at least perceived conflict with other prisoners and after each incident Mr Connington has been completely co-operative with prison staff.”

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