Two Muslim teenagers from east London have been convicted of causing criminal damage for spray-painting burkas over scantily-clad women in adverts on the street.

Mohammed Hasnath and Muhammed Tahir, both 18, admitted the offence and said they were acting in the greater good because women should not be uncovered.

In June, Hasnath was fined £100 for posting stickers which declared Tower Hamlets a ‘gay-free zone’.

He told the court that he was given the stickers and had only posted a few of those that were found in the area.

The pair were caught defacing advertisements when members of the public called police.

They had been spotted painting over a Lynx advert which showed Kelly Brook as an angel, as well as painting over the other side of the hoarding, which was an ad for the film Drive Angry.

When police arrived, they admitted what they had done.

Taiwo Akinrowo, prosecuting, said: “They told them that the way the women had been photographed was against their religion and they said it was a sin in Islam for a male to look twice at a woman who is not covered.

“Both have admitted painting over them. At first, they did not think it was a bad thing to do but they accept that it was not legal because it was not their property.”

Hasnath added: “If someone was to look at our wife or mother or daughter with a bad intention we would not like it, so we were just trying to do good.”

They were each told to pay costs of £283 and were released on a 12-month conditional discharge.

Last month, posters were found in Tower Hamlets, Newham and Waltham Forest declaring ‘Sharia-controlled zones’.

The posters claim: “You are entering a Sharia controlled zone. Islamic rules enforced.”

Underneath, images indicate that smoking, alcohol and music are banned.

Islamic preacher Anjem Choudary, who said in 2008 that gays should be stoned to death, has claimed responsibility for the campaign.