Daniel Cressey guilty of aiding Grimsby mosque attack

Grimsby Islamic Cultural Centre Worshippers who were trapped inside the mosque managed to put out the fire

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A man has been found guilty of aiding and abetting an arson attack on a mosque, carried out in response to the death of soldier Lee Rigby.

Daniel Cressey, 25, of New Holland, North Lincolnshire, drove two ex-soldiers to the Islamic Cultural Centre in Grimsby in May.

Cressey's cousin Stuart Harness, 33, and Gavin Humphries, 37, have admitted throwing petrol bombs at the mosque.

The three men will be sentenced at Hull Crown Court on 20 December.

Grimsby Crown Court was told Harness and Humphries, of Dixon Avenue in the town, were caught on camera making the bombs and then throwing them at the mosque doors as people were trapped inside.

The worshippers managed to put out the fire and no-one was hurt.

The attack took place four days after Fusilier Rigby died outside Woolwich Barracks in London.

'Serious offence'

Harness and Humphries pleaded guilty to arson, while Cressey denied one charge of aiding and abetting arson, being reckless as to whether life was endangered.

Start Quote

You went into this knowing full well what was going on. A prison sentence is inevitable”

End Quote Judge Mark Bury

During a three-day trial the court heard Cressey drove the pair to the mosque.

The jury was told the two former soldiers unwittingly recorded themselves making the bombs, burning off excess petrol from a garden table and carrying the makeshift devices towards Cressey's car on cameras set up in Harness's home.

The mosque had been targeted earlier in the week and, because of this, two police community support officers were patrolling nearby and spotted the attack.

They followed Harness and Humphries back to Dixon Avenue where they were arrested.

Cressey was captured on the footage at Harness's home but claimed he had only gone there to get some fishing tips from his cousin and did not notice the petrol bombs or burning table during his 40 minutes in the house.

Judge Mark Bury told him: "You've been convicted on plain evidence of aiding and abetting your cousin Stuart Harness and another man, Gavin Humphries, to fire-bomb the Grimsby Islamic Cultural Centre.

"That's a serious offence.

"You went into this knowing full well what was going on. A prison sentence is inevitable."

Cressey, Harness and Humphries have been remanded in custody.

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