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SuffolkNews Podcast: Haverhill's Muslim community 'unsettled' by mosque attack, Newmarket crossing campaigners closer to victory and grower's delight at Queen presentation



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In today's podcast, members of Haverhill’s Muslim community believe the fourth attack on its mosque in the space of three years was a hate crime.

Two-and-a-half years ago the mosque, based at Bevan House on the corner of Crowland Road and Camps Road, was seriously damaged by a fire deliberately started in one of the rooms used for prayer.

And in the early hours of Tuesday, Yacouba Ibrahim, the secretary of the Haverhill Muslim Community Association, arrived for early morning prayers at 4am to discover a wheelie bin had been set on fire and badly damaged.

Aside from the two arson attacks, Mr Ibrahim said there had also been two other acts of vandalism at the mosque, which the association officially opened in March after buying it from Haverhill Town Council.

A fence had been deliberately pushed over in one incident and a window smashed in another - leaving some mosque users very unsettled.

In other news, campaigners fighting to keep Newmarket’s much-used Weatherby railway foot crossing open are celebrating what they said was another step towards victory.

Network Rail has been trying to close the crossing, which links two sides of the town, since 2016 on the grounds of safety but, on Monday, government-appointed planning inspector Mark Yates confirmed his previous ruling that it should remain open.

Newmarket resident Michael Smy, who made the original application for the crossing to be recognised as a public highway in 2018, and has fought for the footpath together with fellow resident Rachel Wood, backed by Newmarket Town Council, Which footed legal bills of more than £40,000, said it was excellent news.

And finally, a Suffolk gardener said he could not put into words how he felt after a posy of his flowers were handed to the Queen at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

Chris Wiley who runs Sow Beautiful, in Harkstead, near Ipswich, had a posy of his Sweet Peas - named after television presenter Peter Seabrook, who died earlier this year - presented to Her Majesty as she visited the world-famous flower show this week.