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UK football fans fined for desecrating The Holy Quran
Friday May 2, 2014 8:33 PM, Agencies

Two Middlesbrough football club fans have been convicted of tearing up a copy of the Quran and throwing pieces of it into the air during a soccer match.

Middlebrough football fans

Julie Phillips, 50, and Gemma Parkin, 18 -- who were convicted of a religiously-aggravated public order offense Thursday -- tore pages from the Quran and passed them around to 20 fellow supporters whilst participating in offensive chanting, a Birmingham court heard, World Bulletin reported Friday.

Phillips told the trial she had been making confetti to throw during the match on December 7 -- the second-tier English Championship 2-2 draw between hosts Birmingham City and Middlesbrough at St Andrew's stadium.

Parkin said that she did not know what the book was and had been given it at a market in Birmingham city centre.

The court's judge, Gordon Sayers, called the actions an "unpleasant offense" and said the behaviour was "abusive and insulting."

Phillips was fined £300 ($500) with £400 costs and Parkin was fined £200 and ordered to pay £400 towards the cost of her trial.

The pair had been attending the match at Birmingham City football stadium when Phillips informed by a safety personnel that she was ripping up a copy of the Quran.

Passing sentence, Sayers told the pair: "This was a very unpleasant offense and there was a degree of pre-planning involved.

"You were well aware of what you were doing -- at times you were seen to be instigating the chanting."

Phillips was told by the magistrate: "We have seen very clear CCTV footage of you ripping up the Quran and you passing pages to a small group of other supporters.

"We are satisfied that you were aware of what you were distributing."

A third Middlesbrough supporter was fined £235 in March after he admitted he was amongst the group of 20 supporters that were handed pages from the Quran.

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