Police 'give words of advice' to boy who sent death threats to autistic student who lightly scuffed Quran at school

3 March 2023, 18:50 | Updated: 3 March 2023, 18:56

The student lightly scuffed the Quran
The student lightly scuffed the Quran. Picture: Cllr Akef Akbar/Alamy

By Kit Heren

Police have given "words of advice" to a boy who sent death threats to an autistic student who lightly damaged a copy of the Quran.

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The Year 10 student brought the religious book to Kettlethorpe High School in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, on February 23. The cover was lightly torn and a page inside was smudged.

The high-functioning autistic 14-year-old received death threats after the incident, his mother said.

Police sparked incredulity in some quarters by designating the damage to the Quran as a "hate incident", although they said no criminal offence was committed. Kettlethorpe High School said it suspended four students over the incident.

Tudor Griffiths, the school's headteacher, said there had been “no malicious intent” but the pupils’ actions were “unacceptable”.

They later said they "gave advice" to the student who sent a death threat to the autistic boy.

The copy of the Quran in question
The copy of the Quran in question. Picture: Handout

The entire incident provoked uproar among some members of the local Muslim community, which has caused concern over the possible de facto revival of blasphemy as a social force in parts of the UK.

Home Secretary Suella Braverman said in response: "Blasphemy is not a crime in our country. We will only remain a tolerant and harmonious society if we do not capitulate to mob intimidation.

"Safeguarding children and security must be of paramount importance."

Humanists UK said the decision to suspend the boys alleged to have started the rumours was “horrendous” and the school had allowed itself to be “pressured into excessive disciplinary action by areligious group”.

Nick Ferrari slams West Yorkshire police over Quran School incident

A spokesperson for West Yorkshire Police said: "We are aware of local and national concerns following an incident at Kettlethorpe High School in Wakefield last week.

"Police were made aware on the evening of Thursday, February 23, of an incident that had occurred at the school earlier that day.

"Initial enquiries confirmed that minor damage was caused to a religious text.

"We have recorded a hate incident, but from our enquiries are satisfied that no criminal offences were committed.

"A report was also made of a malicious communications offence in relation to threats being made to a child in connection with this incident.

Read more: Nick Ferrari slams West Yorkshire police over Quran School incident

Read more: Police record ‘hate incident’ after autistic boy drops Quran in school corridor

"A suspect was identified, who was also a child, and they were given words of advice by an officer.

"We are continuing to liaise with the school and our neighbourhood officers are conducting additional reassurance patrols in the area."

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