Fife kebab shop firebombed



A teenage racist firebombed an Asian-owned take-away food shop in Fife and then bragged about it online.

Charles Johnston wore a mask and waved a machete as he ranted about Muslims and claimed he had burned down a kebab shop.

However, the mask proved pointless when he blurted out his home address after being challenged as being a “pussy”.

Johnston was also wearing the same hoodie and he had on when he tried to torch the take-away in Rosyth, which was captured on CCTV and he was quickly arrested.

He believed that money being taken for kebabs was going towards terrorism.

Johnston (19), of Tovey Road, Rosyth, appeared in the dock at Dunfermline Sheriff Court.

He admitted that on 18th May at Shalimar Kebab, Queensferry Road, he wilfully set fire to the premises by setting light to a bottle containing a quantity of petrol and throwing it at the premises. The fire took effect and damaged the shutters, an offence aggravated by religious prejudice.

He also admitted that on 2nd June, at his home, he uploaded a live video to an on-line broadcasting service, Periscope, in which he repeatedly uttered racist, offensive and abusive remarks, all whilst holding a machete with his face masked.

He further admitted that on the same day, at Sherbrooke Road, he was in possession of a lock-knife.

Depute fiscal Alex Kirk told the court that Johnston had gone on his bike to the take-away after midnight when it was closed and shuttered, as shown on CCTV video. He had his hoodie pulled on, was carrying a bottle full of petrol and had just bought a lighter from a local garage.

“The accused then stops his bike directly outside of the locus, gets off the bike and walks with the bike out of sight. He is still holding the bottle.

“At 0017hrs the accused approaches the locus on foot. He is holding a mobile phone in one hand and the bottle in the other.

“As he is standing outside, a flash and glow becomes visible before the accused throws an object directly at the locus.

“The metal shutters are already down, the object results in a fireball and burns for a period of time. The accused is observed holding out his mobile phone as though recording this. He then runs away retrieving his bike and cycling away.”

A taxi driver saw the fire and someone on a bike filming it on their phone.

Around a fortnight later, Johnston was bragging on the internet.

He said, “Listen achieving what I’m f****** here to achieve. I set the kebab shop on fire. It burned f****** down. I spat on the mosque.”

He told someone on the site to “go rape some children you dirty brown Muslim c****. I’m gonna take ISIS in my stride.

“I set a kebab shop on fire because halal food contributes a 2% tax. Every kebab bought contributes to terrorist organisations.”

Defence solicictor Elaine Buist said, “He says he doesn’t have anything against individual Muslims.”

Sheriff Charles MacNair responded, “That is what is said by just about every racist. He clearly is a racist.”

Ms Buist went on, “He’s been looking at propaganda on the internet and taken that as fact.”

Of the firebomb attack, she said, “He’s at a loss to explain what happened. He has little recollection of that incident.

“He has no previous convictions and is deeply embarrassed by the charges.”

Sheriff MacNair called for reports and allowed bail. Johnston will be sentenced on 17th April and was warned that a custodial term is likely.

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