Man charged for ripping up the Quran at football match

Middlesbrough fans

A man has been charged after pages were allegedly torn from the Quran and thrown during a football match.

Police said the incident happened on 7 December 2013 at a game between Birmingham City and Middlesbrough at St Andrews.

Mark Stephenson, 25, from Napoleon Drive, Bicton Heath, Shrewsbury, has been charged with causing racial or religiously-aggravated harassment.

He will appear at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court on 28 February.

Background

Middlesbrough FC immediately suspended two of their fans from all of their games after the initial claims that they provocatively tore out pages from the Quran during the 2-2 draw last year.

West Midlands Police treated the incident as a “hate crime”.

At the time of the incident, the club said in a statement: “We can confirm that, at this point, two individuals have been suspended from attending Boro matches.”

A Birmingham City spokesman confirmed that the club was aware of the incident and co-operated with police.

Muslim MP for Perry Barr, Khalid Mahmood said the offender was rightly charged with religiously-aggravated harassment.

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