Andrew Ryan, former British soldier, gets 70 days in prison for burning Koran he stole from library
Andrew Ryan, 32, scuffled with court security guards after the sentence was handed down in London by District Judge Gerald Chalk.
"This is a case of theatrical bigotry," Chalk declared at the Monday sentencing. "It was pre-planned by you as you stole the book deliberately. You went out to cause maximum publicity and to cause distress."
Ryan - who had six prior convictions, including one for joining soccer hooligans in a racist chant - had earlier pleaded guilty to religiously aggravated harassment and theft.
Authorities said he swiped the Muslim holy book from the Carlisle library and set it afire before a lunchtime crowd on Jan. 19.
The jail term for Ryan stood in contrast with the handling of Florida pastor Terry Jones' Koran burning in the U.S., where he was protected by free speech.
Jones, who burned one of the books last month, is leading another protest against radical Islamic views this week in Michigan.
Less than a dozen supporters turned out at Ryan's hearing. As the defendant was handcuffed and led out of court, he began shouting, "What about my country? What about burning poppies?"
Ryan was referring to Emdadur Choudhury, a Muslim extremist who was fined last month after igniting a poppy on Armistice Day - a day of honor for those killed in battle.