Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 23 August 2014

Man faces terror murder charge

Pavlo Lapshyn was also charged in relation to explosions near mosques across the West Midlands

A Ukrainian man has appeared in court charged with the terror-related murder of an 82-year-old grandfather as he walked home from a mosque.

Pavlo Lapshyn, a postgraduate student from Dnipropetrovsk, is accused of killing Mohammed Saleem in Birmingham in April.

The 25-year-old has also been charged with three further offences related to three separate explosions near mosques in Walsall, Wolverhampton and Tipton, Westminster Magistrates' Court heard.

Lapshyn, wearing a black round-neck top with short-cropped hair, spoke only to confirm his name and date of birth and to request to speak to his lawyer during the 10-minute hearing, while he was accompanied by a team of police and security guards.

The student, who was in the UK on a sponsored work placement at a software firm based in the Small Heath area of Birmingham, was arrested on suspicion of Mr Saleem's murder on July 20.

The pensioner was fatally stabbed just yards from his house as he walked home alone after worship, on April 29, prompting an outpouring of grief from the community where he lived.

The court heard Lapshyn is also charged with carrying out a series of acts with the intention to commit acts of terrorism between April 24 and July 18, related to three separate explosions in Walsall, Wolverhampton and Tipton.

They include purchasing batteries, a lunch bag, clock and container as part of the construction of an explosive device, carrying out internet research and visiting intended locations to plant explosive devices, purchasing chemicals to make explosive devices and modifying mobile phones to act as detonators, it is alleged.

Lapshyn is also charged with two separate offences of unlawfully and maliciously causing an explosion with the intent to danger life or cause serious injury to a person or property on June 21 and July 12, following the explosions in Walsall and Tipton respectively.

He was remanded in custody and will next appear at a bail hearing at the Old Bailey on July 25. Lapshyn is also due to appear at a preliminary trial hearing at the Old Bailey on August 2.

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