Geoffrey Ryan pleaded guilty to one count of affray and two of possessing an offensive weapon (Essex Police)
Geoffrey Ryan pleaded guilty to one count of affray and two of possessing an offensive weapon (Essex Police)

A man who threatened to kill Muslims at a mosque hours after the murder of soldier Lee Rigby has been jailed for nine months.

 Geoffrey Ryan, 44, admitted to brandishing two knives and shouting "I will kill you" at a worshiper at the al-Falah Islamic Centre in Braintree on 22 May.

Ryan, of Braintree, also admitted launching a smoke grenade into the centre during the attack.

He was sentenced to nine months in jail at Chelmsford crown court after pleading guilty to one count of affray and two of possessing an offensive weapon.

No one was injured during the incident.

Upon sentencing, judge Anthony Goldstaub told Ryan: "It was an attack both racially and religiously motivated and showing hatred on both counts and it is the kind of thing that won't be tolerated in this country."

Det const Andy Young, from Essex police, said: "The incident caused unnecessary fear, not only for the people who witnessed it, but also local residents at a time when emotions were already running high due to the death of Drummer Lee Rigby in London.

"Ryan's imprisonment should serve as a warning to others who intend to cause fear and unrest in the community for their own agendas, whether personal or not.

"I would like to thank the members of the al-Falah prayer centre for their support during the investigation and for their continued efforts in which they have hosted local events intended to increase understanding and tolerance within a multicultural community."