Man accused of tearing down cross on Baptist church ‘committed religiously-aggravated offence’

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The young man, named earlier today as Yussef Alwali has been committed in custody to the Crown Court at Snaresbrook.  From the Daily Mail

Alwali appeared in custody at Barkingside Magistrates Court in a white t shirt and hooded coat, charged with one count of causing racially or religiously aggravated criminal damage.  Magistrates heard there have been ‘ongoing concerns’ about Alwali who had been living in Basildon, Essex, (about 25 miles away) and is now thought to be of no fixed abode.

Alwali spoke only to confirm his name, age and address, before magistrates deemed the alleged offence to be too serious to be tried by magistrates partly due to its ‘racial undertones’ and he will next appear before a crown court.

Phillipa McCarthy, prosecuting, said: ‘There have been ongoing concerns about this defendant. On this occasion, he has taken the cross off the Baptist Church. There are underlying issues. Given the racial undertones and Mr Alwali’s background it would be outside your jurisdiction with regards to sentencing given the nature of the offence.’

Alwali is yet to enter his plea and medical examinations are set to take place. Alwali was remanded in custody to appear at Snaresbrook Crown Court on November 18.

Workmen were seen preparing to put the cross back on the roof on Monday morning.

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