Jun 26 2009 by Donald Morton, Stirling Observer Friday
A RETIRED mining electrician caused thousands of pounds worth of damage to five cars in a mosque car park while their owners were at prayer.
Nicholas McIvor (62) was seen lurking suspiciously near the damaged vehicles, which included a four-year-old Jaguar X-type, an Audi, a BMW 520i, and a Mercedes van.
Bonnets, roofs and doors were found to have been scratched with a sharp instrument.
When he was seen leaving hurriedly in a maroon-coloured saloon, officers traced the vehicle to his home and he was interviewed.
He claimed to have no recollection of carrying out the vandalism at the Central Scotland Islamic Centre in Stirling, during evening worship last September.
Fred Mackintosh, prosecuting, said McIvor absolutely denied that he was involved.
But at Stirling Sheriff Court on Wednesday, McIvor, of Causewayhead Road, Stirling, pleaded guilty to six charges of vandalism.
The Crown did not suggest that the incident, which occurred between 9.20pm and 10.10pm on September 22 was racially or religiously motivated.
However the mosque was busy at the time with people observing Ramadan, the Muslim holy month of fasting.
John Mulholland, defending, said McIvor, a former electrician at the Longannet complex in Fife, had been in Stirling city centre with his wife on the evening in question, but had returned home separately about 9pm.
He said McIvor had “no recollection” of causing the damage.
Sheriff Richard Clark ordered McIvor to pay £1500 compensation to the car owners, and fined him £80 on each of the six charges – a total financial penalty of £1980. He was given three months to pay.
A spokesman for the Islamic Centre said at the time: “We were in the middle of evening prayers and, being Ramadan, there were a lot of people in the mosque and a lot of cars parked outside.
“We were interrupted halfway through when someone came in to tell us that someone had vandalised a lot of cars.
“There were deep scratches in the sides, bonnets and roofs of family cars and executive cars.”
He added: “It is very sad because this is a place of worship.
“This month of fasting is devoted to worship – more than at any other time in the Islamic calendar.
“We have gone to great lengths, through open days and other initiatives, to communicate with our communities and tell them more about Islam.”