A WOODFORD Green man and three other thugs have been jailed after smashing their way into a mosque and racially abusing worshippers.

Rocky Beale, 19, of Purleigh Avenue in Woodford Green was jailed for three-and-a-half years for his part in the attack on March 24 this year.

He was joined on his rampage by Elliot Jones, 20, of Keswick Gardens in Redbridge, and Matthew Stephenson, 18, and Harry Deluca, 16, of no fixed address.

They were sentenced today (September 28) after earlier being found guilty of violent disorder at Snaresbrook Crown Court.

The gang damaged property and cars as they walked along Eastern Avenue towards the Redbridge roundabout, smashing windscreens with bricks.

As they reached Redbridge Islamic Centre (RIC) they hurled bricks at the glass doors before storming inside and bombarding those inside with racial abuse.

A 42-year-old man, who came out of the mosque, was hit on the head with a brick as he attempted to confront the attackers.

Police who arrived to arrest the gang were spat at by Deluca, who a judge allowed to be named despite his age.

They continued to shout racial abuse as they were handcuffed.

Jones and Stephenson were sentenced to three-and-a-half years. Deluca was sentenced to two years.

DC Fiona Robinson, the investigating officer from Ilford borough, said: "This is a brilliant result for the victims of this incident and those affected by it.

"These sentences send out a clear message to those involved and anybody thinking of getting involved in this type of crime, that racial abuse and thuggish behaviour will not be tolerated in Redbridge borough or within the Metropolitan Police district."

A spokesperson for the Redbbridge Islamic Trust (RIC), said: "RIC hopes the case sets a precedent in Redbridge and beyond that attacks targeting a community or place of worship will not be tolerated and the culprits will face the full force of the law.

"RIC hopes the young men found guilty of the attacks, use the sentencing time to reflect on their actions and become better citizens, once released back into the community, so they can make positive contribution to society.

"RIC welcomes the opportunity for them to visit the centre in future and find out about its work."

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