Guilty pleas from Gloucester mosque arson duo
TWO men have admitted an arson attack on a Gloucester mosque.
Clive Michael Ceronne, 37, and Ashley Henry Juggins, 20, both pleaded guilty to arson being reckless as to whether life was endangered.
The pair attempted to set fire to the Masjid-E-Noor in the city's Ryecroft Street on June 18 this year.
Ceronne, a former security guard of Redwood Close, in Gloucester, and Juggins, of Brooklyn Road in Cheltenhamm will be sentenced at Gloucester Crown Court on November 18.
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The court previously heard the boozed-fuelled pair had bought lager, vodka and a petrol can of fuel from a London Road garage.
They then used the fuel to set fire to the place of worship owned by the Muslim Welfare Association in a racially aggravated attack. A passerby, believed to be a Polish taxi driver, saw the fire and helped put it out, before severe damage was caused.
The men were stopped by police after driving through a red light later that day.
It came in the wake of the death of Drummer Lee Rigby, who was killed in London on May 22 in what is believed to have been an Islamic terrorist attack.
Gloucester sheriff and city councillor, Said Hansdot, has been praying at the mosque since it opened in the late 1960s.
He said: "We are lucky in this area. We live together in harmony. We have had a lot of support from the community. Most of the community have given us sympathy and their apologies, but we know it is just two people that have done that. I think it is a good thing they have pleaded guilty so we can all turn the page on it and if they ever want to speak to us, I would welcome it."
Protesters previously appeared outside the court calling for an end to racism in the city.
Judge Jamie Tabor QC ordered a pre-sentence report on the pair prior to their return to the same court next month. They were remanded in custody.