A former trustee of Brighton Mosque has been cleared of burgling its office after magistrates decided there was no case to answer halfway through his trial.
Abubaker Deghayes, 52, was caught on CCTV with a locksmith breaking into the office at the Dyke Road mosque and taking documents from it, believed to be bank statements.
The locks had been changed two days earlier after he had refused to return the keys, having been sacked as a director in late 2017 when he was jailed for assault.
But on Monday, Brighton Magistrates Court heard that another director, Khaled Amar, had given him permission to hire the locksmith.
This morning, after the prosecution case had concluded, Deghayes’ defence counsel Tom Wainwright made an application to dismiss the case on the basis that there was not enough evidence.
Magistrates granted his application. Chair of the bench Alison Carragher said: “The evidence from the prosecution’s live witness and the text messages was weak.
“There was tenuous evidence to confirm that Mr Amar was not entitled to give permission.
“We do not find a case to answer.
“In respect of both charges we therefore dismiss this case at half time.”
During the trial, one of the trustees Asim Takriti, who was also a director at the time of the incident, said Mr Amar had assaulted and threatened him because he was upset about what had happened to Deghayes.
And he said that he had been trying to change the mosque because while Deghayes had been a director, it had been “like North Korea”.
However, he conceded that Mr Amar was a director when he gave permission for the locksmith.
Deghayes, of Arundel Drive East in Saltdean, did not apply for his defence costs.
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