Two drunken Polish men who threw rashers of bacon at worshippers inside a mosque before shouting ‘enjoy f***ers’ as they fled the scene have been jailed.
Mateusz Pawlikowski, 22, and Piotr Czak-Zukowski, 28, targeted the Al-Rahman Mosque in Camden, north London, in the ‘highly offensive’ incident last month.
The men had been binge-drinking at Oktoberfest in Canary Wharf before travelling to the mosque where Pawlikowski approached one worshipper, swore at him, and threw a rasher of bacon towards him.
He then continued to throw further rashers on the floor of the prayer room before the pair fled at around 7.30pm on October 2 while shouting ‘enjoy f***ers’.
DC Tracey McMath, from the Camden Community Safety Unit, said: “The defendants showed a complete disregard for the faith and belief of others in this callous and highly offensive incident and I hope their convictions highlight that we will not tolerate hate crime in any of its forms.
“I know this incident has had a significant impact on the community and commend the victims for speaking up.
“Hate crime is often a hidden crime and it is essential we stand together with policing partners, colleagues and groups to investigate all such allegations, support victims and bring perpetrators to justice.”
Prosecutor Carol Summers said: “All of a sudden a man threw some meat in the caretaker’s direction that turned out to be some bacon.
“The meat landed on the floor about two metres away from him and he said he could see immediately that it was a rasher.”
The pair appeared at Blackfriars Crown Court on Tuesday, where they were both sentenced to eight months’ imprisonment for criminal damage and eight months’ concurrent imprisonment for a racial public order offence.
The defending lawyer, Philip Haworth, said Czak-Zukowski, had lost his job and his home after being jailed and is “deeply remorseful”.
Ania Grudzinska, defending Pawlikowski, said: “There have been incidents already in Pentonville prison and so he has been given a taste of his own medicine.”
The pair have both been attacked by Muslim prisoners after been remanded in custody in HMP Pentonville, the court heard.
The mosque’s caretaker has described the attack as a “hate crime targeting the Muslim community”.
He also said that he feared his life was in danger during the attack.
As the Judge Peter Clarke jailed the two men, he said: “It seems to me that the religious aggravation in the offence is the offence itself.
“Obviously throwing that smoked meat in an ordinary public Christian place is a completely different context from that which you intended.
“The two of you were in drink which is no mitigation, you were merely doing what you thought of doing no doubt sober but found you could do more easily inebriated.
“You threw rashers of bacon indiscriminately around that very important place of worship to the local Muslims.”