Shropshire Star

Man appears in court accused of setting alight two pensioners near mosques

Mohammed Abbkr was remanded in custody until next month charged with two counts of attempted murder.

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Edgbaston incident

A 28-year-old man has appeared in court charged with attempting to murder two elderly men who were set alight in the street after they left mosques in Birmingham and London.

Mohammed Abbkr, of Gillott Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham, appeared at the city’s magistrates’ court on Thursday where he spoke only to confirm his name, address and date of birth.

West Midlands Police have said he is alleged to have sprayed a substance on two men and set it alight in separate incidents in Ealing, west London, on February 27 and in Birmingham on Monday.

Mohammed Rayaz, 70, was set on fire as he walked home from Dudley Road Mosque in the Edgbaston area of Birmingham at about 7pm on Monday.

Edgbaston incident
Mohammed Rayaz (Family handout/PA)

He remains in hospital with severe injuries.

Abbkr was arrested in the Dudley Road area on Tuesday on suspicion of the attempted murder of Mr Rayaz.

He was later arrested on suspicion of the same offence in relation to 82-year-old Hashi Odowa, who suffered severe burns to his face and arms near an Islamic centre in Ealing.

Abbkr, who gave no indication of plea to either charge, was remanded in custody until next month after a six-minute appearance before District Judge Shamim Qureshi.

The judge, who heard that Abbkr is originally from Sudan, told the defendant: “Very well then Mr Abbkr, this case is going to be sent to Birmingham Crown Court for the first hearing there on the 20th of April.

“You will be remanded in custody.”

Officers are continuing to appeal for CCTV, doorbell footage or other video that could help the investigation.

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