Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Bow Down before Me, Convert with an Axe Planned to Tell His Dad; Court Is Told of Troubled State of Recent Islam Convert

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Bow Down before Me, Convert with an Axe Planned to Tell His Dad; Court Is Told of Troubled State of Recent Islam Convert

Article excerpt

Byline: ROB KENNEDY Court Reporter rob.kennedy@ncjmedia.co.uk

A CONVERT to Islam was caught with an axe heading to his Christian father's home to confront him over "religious differences", a court was told Police said Clayton McKenna told them he was planning to ask his father to "bow down to him" although he now disputes that.

The 22-year-old had broken into his mother's shed and armed himself with the axe and was on his way to his dad's home in South Tyneside when police intercepted him.

A court heard he gave conflicting accounts about his motives and intentions and although he referred to religion, he insisted he was not going to hurt anyone.

Sentencing him at Newcastle Crown Court, Judge Penny Moreland said: "You made a series of statements at the scene to the officer and then in interview as to what you intended to do and what was in your mind.

"They were confused and contradictory.

"Those statements included a suggestion you were going to use violence against your father, amongst a number of reasons you said was because he was a Christian and you were a recent convert to Islam.

"I am concerned that there is no real explanation for your confused thinking that morning, nor for those threats made, even though they appear to have been without substance."

Police were contacted in the early hours of July 18 after reports McKenna was in Boldon Colliery, South Tyneside, with the axe.

His parents are separated and he had forced open a shed at his mum's home and taken the cutting tool out.

Prosecutor Kevin Wardlaw told the court how the events unfolded.

He said: "Police were made aware he might be on his way to his father's address in South Tyneside, which indeed he was. He was found by the police in possession of the axe. He made comments about his religious beliefs and those of his father."

McKenna claimed he was carrying the axe for his own protection and insisted he was not intending to harm anyone.

Mr Wardlaw said: "He gave conflicting accounts about what he would do with the axe but said he had no intention of causing injury to anybody."

Judge Moreland said: "He referred to religious differences, although he said he would not hurt anyone, he also said he would hurt someone. …

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