LONDON: Five Muslims who distributed leaflets in England calling for gay people to be executed have appeared in court accused of inciting hatred.

One leaflet said the death penalty had been passed against all homosexuals and showed a mannequin hanging from a noose.

Another showed a figure burning in a lake of fire with a list of punishments for homosexual acts.

The five defendants, all from Derby, are the first to be prosecuted under new laws banning the stirring up of hatred because of sexual orientation.

Ihjaz Ali, 42, Razwan Javed, 28, Kabir Ahmed, 28, Umar Javed, 38, and Mehboob Hussain, 44, were arrested after complaints about leaflets distributed in Derby before a gay pride parade in July 2010.

The material was handed out in the street as well as posted through letter boxes.

Bobbie Cheema, prosecuting, told Derby Crown Court that the pamphlets were threatening, offensive, frightening and nasty, and had been “designed to stir up hatred and hostility against homosexual people”.

The maximum penalty for the offences is seven years in jail.

The trial, which is expected to last three weeks, continues. – Daily Mail