A former trustee of Brighton Mosque paid a locksmith to break into its office, a court heard this morning.
Abubaker Deghayes, 52, is standing trial this week on two counts of burglary at the Dyke Road mosque in November last year.
It’s alleged that after he failed to return the key to the office, its new trustees arranged for the locks to be changed.
But on 24 November, he arranged for another locksmith to change the locks again. He then went into the office twice, once to look around and see what was there, and then later in the afternoon, to take paperwork, which the prosecution says was bank statements.
Prosecuting, Mariea Slater said: “Police were called to reports of a burglary. They attended and were approached by the defendant who was then being seen to hand a bag to an unknown male before speaking to the police.
“Another trustee of the mosque has identified the defendant from CCTV entering the office on two occasions.
“The defendant did not have any permission to enter the office or take anything from it.”
However, Deghayes says he was not told to return the key and that he was entitled to take the bank statements he’s accused of stealing, as he was still a signatory on the bank account.
One of the trustees due to give evidence, Mohamed El-Bayouk, asked to give his evidence in written form as he was scared of Deghayes, accusing him of having smashed his windscreen in May this year.
However another, Dr Karim Aboutayab, has been allowed to give his evidence in writing because he has covid and is too ill to appear either in person or videolink.
Deghayes, of Arundel Drive East, Saltdean, denies the charges.
The trial, which is listed for today and Wednesday, continues.
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