RELIGION
05/05/2014 11:55 am ET

Julie Phillips And Gemma Parkin Found Guilty Of Ripping Up Quran At Football Game

Peter Dazeley via Getty Images

Julie Phillips, age 50, and Gemma Parkin, age 18, have been found guilty of a "religiously-aggravated public order offence" after they ripped up pages from the Quran at an away game for the Middleborough football team, reports the Hartlepool Mail.

Though the pair claimed that they didn't realize that the text that they were tearing up was the Islamic holy book, Phillips told John Newbould, steward at the Birmingham City game, that she was ripping up the Quran. Court chairman George Sayers told The Independent that CCTV caught them "ripping up the Koran and passing pages to a small group of other supporters."

Though they avoided a football ban, Phillips was ordered to pay £730, and Parkin £620 in fines surcharges, and legal costs, according to The Independent.

During the trial, Phillips claimed that she was simply creating confetti, while Parkin said that she had gotten the book at a market in Birmingham without realizing that it was a religious text, according to the Press Association.

Sayers commented, "Other away supporters seemed uncomfortable.This behavior was in a football stadium and was both abusive and insulting."

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