A MAN accused of urinating against the wall of a Worcester mosque, has ‘vehemently’ denied the accusation, a court heard.

Alex Koker, of St Paul’s Hostel, Tallow Hill, said he had been urinating against a litter bin next to the wall instead, Worcester magistrates heard.

Nonetheless, Koker, aged 36, pleaded guilty to a charge of causing racially aggravated harassment or distress.

The court heard that on August 22, Koker was seen urinating on the wall of the Central Mosque at Tallow Hill, close to the hostel where he still lives.

He was given a mop and bucket by hostel staff to clean up the mess he had made, but he swore and shouted a racist remark, which was heard by a staff member of the hostel.

Judith Kenny, representing Koker, said that although he had pleaded guilty to the charge, he was adamant that he had urinated on a waste bin, and not on the wall of the mosque itself.

Furthermore, although he had admitted to using the racial epithet, he had muttered it to himself rather than shouted it out, and it was overheard by a member of the hostel staff.

Mrs Kenny said that the staff member, Mr Shirley, was the only one to hear the remark, and that no-one from the mosque was in earshot.

She said: “He is very apologetic about the incident and he just was not thinking at all.

“He vehemently denies that he was urinating against the wall of the mosque, and says that he was urinating on a litter bin which was close to the wall.

At the time of the incident, the hostel’s chief executive, Jonathan Sutton, branded it ‘deplorable’ and described the man’s behaviour and language, believed to have been committed while drunk, as ‘disgraceful’.

He said: “St Paul’s Hostel has some very clear values which we expect people who live in our community to abide by. One of these is respect for others. It’s written on the wall when you come in. We do not tolerate racially motivated behaviour such as this. That’s what people would expect.”

However, Mr Sutton said that Koker had had ‘a bloody hard life’ and that their responsibility at the hostel was to help him ‘rehabilitate and repent’.

They will continue to work with him and offer him support as they have done since he first became a resident nearly two years ago.

He added: “We cannot simply reject him or exclude him on the basis of this because life on the street is far worse. He won’t be ejected from our service because he needs our help.”

Mohammed Iqbal, of the Worcester Muslim Welfare Association at Central Mosque, said: “As an organisation we were upset with this whole incident. There is no room for hateful language and clearly the man needs to be educated that hate is a disease which leads to breakdown of communities. If you can hate someone’s race/religion you also have the ability to love and accept people are who are different to you thus making our communities stronger and successful. I was upset that he was living in the hostel and clearly his actions may lead to him being expelled, this would be a great shame as we clearly would not like to see him become homeless.”

Koker was fined £80 with £135 costs and a victim surcharge of £32.