A protest in London against the publication of a cartoon depicting the prophet Mohammed as a terrorist incensed an Aberporth man, who painted an anti-Muslim slogan on a white sheet and draped it over his garden fence.

The words in bold red paint stated: "Kill all Muslims who threaten us and our way of life. Enoch Powell was right."

Father of two Gary John Mathewson, who was arrested for displaying the banner, told a court: "This won't stop until there is a Muslim president in the White House."

And referring to MP Jack Straw questioning whether Muslim women should wear face veils he asked: "Are you going to arrest him?"

When prosecutor Maggie Hughes pointed out that the banner did not mention extremists Mathewson said: "That's what I meant by those who threaten us and our way of life.'"

Adding that during the protest in London a Muslim was dressed as a suicide bomber he asked: "Why was he not arrested?"

One of his neighbours, a retired Army officer with 23 years service, told the court he reported the matter to the police because he feared a visit from Muslim extremists.

Mathewson, aged 35, of 79 Brynglas, Aberporth, who was represented by Colin Taylor, pleaded not guilty to a charge of religiously aggravated disorderly conduct in February this year.

Complainant Ian Pennington said the banner was pointed out to him by his coalman, and he later went for a closer look and wrote down the words.

Replying to Miss Hughes he said: "I thought it was stupid and a rather silly and ridiculous thing to do.

"This could have come to the attention of Islamic extremists, and we could have had a visitation," he said.

Pointing to the Twin Towers incident in New York Mr Taylor told the witness: "When three and a half thousand people are killed in Manhattan and elsewhere is it not acceptable for a reasonable man to protest.

"I put it to you that you were not particularly perturbed. If you were you would have ripped the banner off the fence," he said.

Finding Mathewson guilty presiding magistrate Anne Rees said she and her colleagues felt the words on the banner were likely to cause someone distress, and they did not find it as reasonable.

The defendant was given a conditional discharge for two years and ordered to pay £150 costs.

Before leaving the court the defendant and Mr Pennington shook hands.