A man who went on a “bizarre” rampage through a mosque grappling with worshippers, headbutting prayers posted on the wall and smashing cases containing copies of the Koran has been locked up.
Donald Skene shouted “I’m white but I’m one of you, brothers” to the Muslim congregation at Dundee’s Taj Madina Mosque when he was arrested at the end of his 16-minute tirade. The attack, at the mosque in the city’s Victoria Road, was captured on CCTV and shown to a court.
In it, Skene was first seen entering the mosque’s wash room – where he wandered around crying as members of the congregation prepared to enter the prayer room.
Skene – who was on licence at the time of the offence after being jailed for a horrific assault on his own sister – then walked into the main prayer room and wandered around for several minutes until worshippers started to enter.
Procurator-fiscal depute Charmaine Gilmartin told Dundee Sheriff Court: “His behaviour is bizarre – attempts are made to try and calm him down.” Skene was then seen running in circles round the prayer room as worshippers spoke to him.
Miss Gilmartin added: “There are various religious texts in glass frames around the room – the accused punches some of them and latterly headbutts them.”
Skene eventually ran in a circle round the room punching out at various texts before launching himself at full speed, head-first into a final frame.
Congregation members tried to subdue him but he continued to struggle. Police then arrived and Skene struggled violently with them as they attempted to handcuff him. When charged by police Skene said: “I didn’t mean it to be religious.”
Miss Gilmartin added: “He had entered using Islamic greetings, and when he was arrested he refers to members of the congregation as brothers and shouts ‘I’m white but I’m one of you’.”
Skene, 38, of Soapwork Lane, Dundee, pleaded guilty on summary complaint to charges of breach of the peace and resisting arrest. Defence solicitor Ross Donnelly said: “He is extremely apologetic.” .
Sheriff Simon Collins QC ordered Skene to return to prison for five months for breaching his licence.