A MAN has appeared in court charged with racially aggravated offences after a pig’s head was left at the Mosque in Cheltenham.

On November 13, 2010 a pig’s head was left tied to the gates of the Mosque in Cheltenham along with racist graffiti.

Simon Parkes, aged 45, of Crown Close, Bishop’s Cleeve, was charged with racially or religiously aggravated criminal damage and a public order offence on July 14, 2012.

He has today pleaded guilty, Thursday, August 9, at Cheltenham Magistrates' Court.

A spokesman from Cheltenham Mosque said: “This was a very shocking incident, not just for those who attend the Mosque but the wider community as well. We would like to thank the police, the council and local neighbours for their tremendous amount of support. We are very grateful that the damage was dealt with quickly so everyone was able to move back to normality as soon as possible.”

Cheltenham South Policing Inspector Tim Waterhouse said: “Although this disturbing incident happened nearly two years ago a painstaking and difficult enquiry has led to the conviction of Parkes. The message is clear; commit crime at your peril in Cheltenham as we will not stop in our determination to target criminals and keep people and our communities safe from harm.”

Parkes is due to be sentenced at Gloucester Crown Court on August 30.