Pair put racist graffiti on mosque

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TWO men have admitted daubing racist graffiti on a mosque and two Asian-run businesses.

Steven Vasey, 32, and Anthony Smith, 24, pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit racially aggravated criminal damage when they appeared at Durham Crown Court yesterday.

The pair’s charge relates specifically to spray painting offensive messages on the Nasir Mosque, in Brougham Terrace, Hartlepool, as well as the Milco store, in Potto Street, and at the Albert Guest House, in Front Street, both in Shotton Colliery.

The offences took place between November 1 to 17 last year.

Smith, of Neptune Way, Easington Colliery, and Vasey, of Prior’s Grange, Pittington, near Durham City, were released on unconditional bail and will be back in court in October.The two men will be sentenced alongside a third co-accused, Charlotte Davies.

Davies, 19, from Irving Path, in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, had appeared before the same court on August 19 when she indicated she would be entering a guilty plea to the same charge.

She is said to have sent text messages suggesting that the mosque should be vandalised, but will plead on the basis that whatever she suggested was not carried out.

Probation reports are being prepared for all three defendants for their sentencing.

Judge John Evans told the men: “The fact I’m adjourning this case should not be taken by yourselves as an indication about the sentence that will be dealt to you on the week beginning October 3.”