Thug jailed for throwing smoke bomb into Islamic centre five hours after Lee Rigby murder


A thug who threw a smoke device into an Islamic centre just five hours after the murder of soldier Lee Rigby has been jailed for nine months.

Geoffrey Ryan, 44, turned up at the Al Falah prayer centre in Braintree, Essex, brandishing two knives and holding a smoke device.

Provoked by the brutal killing of the soldier in Woolwich, London, the thug shouted “I will kill you” at one passer-by.

His anger soon boiled over and he hurled the smoke device through one of the centre’s windows.

Thankfully nobody was injured and Essex Police tracked Ryan down and arrest him the following day.

The attack came as tensions were running high following the slaying of Drummer Lee Rigby, 25, on the streets of London on May 22.

Ryan, from Braintree, Essex, admitted affray and two counts of possessing an offensive weapon at Chelmsford Crown Court yesterday.

He was immediately sentenced to nine months in prison by Judge Anthony Goldstaub.

Speaking after the sentencing, Det Con Andy Young, from Essex Police, said: “The incident caused unnecessary fear, not only for the people who witnessed it, but also local residents at a time when emotions were already running high due to the death of Drummer Lee Rigby in London.

“Ryan’s imprisonment should serve as a warning to others who intend to cause fear and unrest in the community for their own agendas, whether personal or not.

“I would like to thank the members of the Al Falah prayer centre for their support during the investigation and for their continued efforts in which they have hosted local events intended to increase understanding and tolerance within a multi-cultural community.”


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