Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 23 July 2014

Three in court on gay hatred charge

Ihjaz Ali faces charges of stirring up hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation

Three men have appeared in court charged with stirring up hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation in the first prosecution of its kind.

Ihjaz Alie, 41, Mehboob Hussain, 44, and Umer Javed, 37, were charged on Thursday night and appeared at Derby Magistrates' Court to face charges of distributing threatening written material to stir up hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation after handing out leaflets outside a mosque.

Another two men, Razwan Javed, 30, and Kabir Ahmed, 27, were charged in December over accusations they also handed out the leaflet called The Death Penalty? outside a mosque in Derby, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said.

The leaflet is understood to have called for homosexuals to be executed.

CPS lawyer Sue Hemming said the leaflet was distributed outside the Jamia Mosque in Derby in July 2010 and through letterboxes during the same month.

She said: "This is the first ever prosecution for this offence and it is the result of close working between the Crown Prosecution Service and Derbyshire Police."

Alie, Hussain and Javed are also charged with several counts each of sending communication of threatening messages and displaying signs of writing with abusive or insulting messages.

All five men will appear back at Derby Magistrates' Court on February 14 for committal hearing.