Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 19 April 2014

Terror sentence appeal allowed

Three Islamist extremists have had their indeterminate sentences quashed by the Court of Appeal

Three members of an al Qaida-inspired terror group that plotted to bomb the London Stock Exchange and build a terrorist training camp have had their indeterminate sentences quashed by the Court of Appeal.

Three judges in London instead imposed "determinate" custodial sentences of 17 years and eight months in the case of one of the men and 16 years in relation to the two others.

The Islamist extremists originally received the indeterminate sentences for public protection at London's Woolwich Crown Court in February last year.

Mohammed Shahjahan, now 29, was at that stage ordered to serve a minimum term of eight years and 10 months while fellow Stoke-on-Trent-based radicals Usman Khan, 22, and Nazam Hussain, 27, were ordered to serve at least eight years behind bars.

Allowing their sentence appeals, Lord Justice Leveson, sitting with Mr Justice Mitting and Mr Justice Sweeney, ruled that Shahjahan now has to serve 17 years and eight months and Khan and Hussain 16 years.

All three received extended sentences, meaning that each will have to spend an extra five years on licence after they are freed from prison.

The trio were originally sentenced along with six others - four of the nine were from Stoke, three from Cardiff and two from London.

The appeal judges said that having "reduced" the three sentences by removing the sentence for public protection, they had come to the conclusion that it was right to make a "marginal" adjustment to the term imposed on another appellant.

They knocked six months off the five-year sentence originally handed out to Mohibur Rahman, now 28, from Stoke-on-Trent. Rahman had received the five years for possessing two copies of the online al Qaida magazine Inspire for terrorist purposes.

The judges also dismissed a sentence appeal by Omar Latif, 29, from Cardiff, who was jailed for 10 years and four months, with an extended period on licence of another five years, for attending meetings with the intention of assisting others to prepare or commit acts of terrorism.

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