THIS thug sprayed vile racist graffiti on a mosque despite being brought up in the Muslim faith.
Drunken Ryan Austin was captured on CCTV daubing an obscene message in red paint on the side of Jami Masjid mosque, in Chester Road.
The 20-year-old initially denied carrying out the race-hate attack, despite red spray paint being found at his home near Barnes Park. However, at Sunderland Magistrates’ Court he admitted racially-aggravated criminal damage.
Defence solicitor Derek Locke told JPs that Austin’s middle name was Zahid and he was half-Pakistani. He revealed the unemployed joiner suffered a turbulent childhood at the hands of bullies because of his mixed race.
Mr Locke said: “His mother, who is sitting at the back of court, is a local girl to Sunderland and his father is of Pakistani origin.
“From early days he was brought up in both faiths and attended the mosque with his paternal grandfather until the age of seven, when the relationship broke down and his father left the family home.”
“His grandfather died quite quickly after and Ryan stopped attending the mosque, because he was bullied by Pakistani boys there.
“He misses his father and has no relationship with him, because his father married a Muslim girl and has a separate family.
“It is quite clear from talking to him the difficulties he has experienced from school and through his father.
“He was bullied by white boys and the Pakistani boys who thought he was white.”
Mr Locke added: “In his own mind, he tells me when he was drunk that evening, the words were intended to be aimed at his father.
“In his mind, the mosque represented his dad.”
Prosecutor Glenda Beck told magistrates that police painted over the racist graffiti at no cost to the mosque after the incident in the early hours of June 8.
Chairman of the bench John Scott fined Austin, of Nora Street, £100 and ordered he paid £85 court costs.
“I find this divide between religions very curious,” he said. “It is based on ignorance.
“We are all immigrants in the city of Sunderland and my ancestors are of Scottish and Irish descent.
“We are a mixed melting pot and have always been a very tolerant city.”
Speaking after the hearing, the mosque’s imam Syed Shuheb praised police.
“We were deeply shocked by the incident but the community as a whole were very pleased with the way handled it.
“They did not leave any stone unturned in finding the perpetrator.
“It is a regrettable incident which does not reflect the community in which we live.
“Regardless of the lifestyle details of the person, it was deeply disturbing because it was in full view of the public.
“But we were very pleased with the police response and it is a small victory for justice.”