Middlesbrough ‘Superfan’ Who Ripped Up The Koran Is Guilty Only Of Being A Godless Idiot
MIDDLESBROUGH FC fans Julie Phillips, 50 and Gemma Parkin, 18, travelled to see their club play Birmingham City at St Andrew’s on December 7, 2013. They went equipped with a copy of the Koran, not to hold in prayer as they willed their team to score. Julie, a Middlesbrough Council employee, ripped pages from the religious text and distributed them to other fans to shred.
The pair ended up at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court, where they claimed they had no idea the book in their hands was the Koran. Parkin said she’d been handed it at a Birmingham market. They claimed they were simply “making confetti”.
Only – get this – they had told a steward they were ripping up a copy of the Koran. Oops. That’s idiots for you.
Steward Matthew Corns told the court he heard chants about Muslims and the Koran as the book was passed around and ripped up.
“I was mortified. Very ashamed and disgusted in myself. It was just a book of some sort, I can’t remember if the cover was on. It was just white paper.”
The Magistrate was disbelieving. They two women have been convicted of causing harassment, alarm or distress. The Birmingham Mail says they “were both found guilty of committing a religiously aggravated public order offence”.
Phillips was fined £300 with £400 costs. Parkin was fined £200 and and £400 costs.
The Beak, one Gordon Sayers told the pair:
“This was a very unpleasant offence and there was a degree of pre-planning involved… This behaviour was in a football stadium and was both abusive and insulting.”
Well, yes, it was. We’d guess that it was designed to be. But you must wonder who or what was being insulted by two idiots ripping up a spiritual text at the football? Muslims are surely too strong to be shaken from their beliefs by three mentally negligible berks. Birmingham City fans didn’t seem to care. Maybe it was just the officials who were upset? Who else was harassed, alarmed or distressed?
The BBC adds:
He [Sayers] added that a number of the 700 away fans had appeared to disapprove of the women’s behaviour. “Other away supporters seemed uncomfortable,” he said.
The other Boro fans thought them prats. That surely hurts more than anything. Crowds often police themselves. The idiots get shouted down and shunned.
Of course, anyone who wilfully destroys books is a monumental idiot. If you are angry enough to burn and rip a text, you should be able to debate your point to view, to challenge the book’s contents and hold a view.
The Mail says during the trial, prosecutor Amar Sanghara told the court:
“On that date Birmingham City Football Club were playing home against Middlesbrough. There was a crowd of 13,454 and 655 were Middlesbrough fans who were standing in the stand behind the goal. A club steward Matthew Corne was stood in the Gill Merrick stand. While there he observed fans ripping pages from a book. They were also chanting words like ‘Muslim’, ‘Koran’ and ‘bayonet’.”
Pathetic stuff. But should it be a crime to chant those words? No, of course not. No other fans in the ground complained about the idiots. Only the steward thought them worth filming and reporting. In all, three idiots who wanted to display their ignorance and bigotry in public were arrested. It’s worth looking back at the other case:
In February, Middlesbrough season ticket holder Mark Stephenson was fined £235 by magistrates, who heard that the 25-year-old was “shocked and appalled” at his own actions…
Good. He’s an idiot.
Prosecutor Jonathan Purser said he was seen pretending to set fire to pages of the Koran with a lighter after a female supporter handed them to him.
Let’s pretend we’re Nazis while chanting “England”. Genius. The Few will be proud. And know that before this bout of gross stupidity, there had been a minute’s silence for the death of Nelson Mandela. All these bigots did was pick on a soft target. Your unlikely at the footy to find many gurning Islamists who will smash your face in and demand your head in a bag.
But get this:
Passing sentence, chairman of the bench Ronald Healy said: “The incidents that we have had described to us are extremely unsavoury and extremely regrettable. We have looked at the references that have been provided by friends and your employer, and they do appear to confirm that you are generally of very good character, and that this incident is particularly out of your normal character.”
Well, many people do go to the match to escape their normal characters, to shout abuse and sing songs about the referee’s onanism. Most of them don’t do that normally, such when talking to a boss at work or at the kids’ meet the teacher night.
But Mr Healy added: “It’s lucky in some respects that nothing occurred as a result of your actions. Incidents of this kind are considered extremely offensive to some members of the community. We hope that in the future you will not ever, ever participate in any such incident.”
Offending someone is a crime? Yep, it is. But isn’t the right to offend important? In this instance, the police took offence on behalf of “some members of the community”. And they made the offensive criminals. The State has determined what people can says and do. How very enlightened.
NOTE: Interestingly, might this be the same Julie Phillips, once shortlisted to be “Boro’s Superfan”, hailed by the Gazette as a “hero”?
AS someone who gives up so much of her time to help other fans, Julie Phillips is an ideal candidate for Boro’s Supporter of the Season award.
Julie, from Netherfields, Middlesbrough, spends many hours a week arranging coaches to away matches, collecting tickets for fans and liaising with police, pubs and bus companies to ensure the journeys go without a hitch.
The South-East corner Season Card holder has even been known to take the wheel herself occasionally. “Making sure everyone gets to the match comfortably and safely is something I really enjoy,” she said.
And if that is her, she can carry on doing that. The magistrate has not banned the women from football grounds.
Wonder what Middlesbrough FC will do?