Yussef Alwali Charged After Cross Was Ripped Down From London Church

The "Lady of Justice", a 12 foot high, gold leaf statue is pictured on top of the dome of the Central Criminal Court, commonly referred to as The Old Bailey in central London on August 21, 2016. - Over the centuries the building has been periodically remodelled and rebuilt. The …
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Yussef Alwali is set to appear before the Barkingside Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, on charges of religiously aggravated criminal damage after a church was vandalised in London.

On Sunday, a cross was torn from the roof of the Chadwell Heath Baptist Chuch at around 2:40 pm.

Following the vandalism, Barking and Dagenham Police wrote on social media: “We are aware of a video circulating on social media of a male causing damage to a religious premises on High Road, Chadwell Heath.”

The video which the police force responded to online appeared to show a man ripping down a cross from the Church’s rooftop.

The man who was charged following the incident, Yussef Alwali, is a nineteen-year-old from Basildon — a town 26 miles outside of London — the Barking and Dagenham Post reports.

“Yussef Alwali – 19, from Basildon, Essex, will appear in custody at Barkingside Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, October 20 charged with religiously aggravated criminal damage,” a Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) spokesman said in a statement.

“This follows an incident in High Road, Chadwell Heath at approximately 2.40pm on Sunday, October 18,” the spokesman added.

Mr Alwali was initially arrested on High Road, Chadwell Heath, on Sunday on suspicion of criminal damage.

On Monday, the church said in a statement reported by The Echo: “We are distressed following the events of yesterday.”

“The person seen was not part of our church. We are thankful no one was hurt and do not want this to affect our ministry.

“We continue to pray for everyone in Chadwell Heath and will do our best to serve the community now and in the future,” the church concluded.

Reverend James Thomas of the church said: “It was frustrating to have the church vandalised but material things can be fixed with ease.”

Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here: @KurtZindulka

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