Belfast Telegraph

Bangor man in plot to kill Prince Harry is jailed for fraud

By John Cassidy

A Muslim convert who plotted to kill Prince Harry was jailed for a year over a £56,000 UK-wide fraud racket.

Sentencing Ashraf Islam (32) at Belfast Crown Court, Judge Patricia Smyth said he had "caused harm to innocent members of the public and the courts had a duty to punish him and protect the public from further offences of this nature''.

Islam, of Albert Street, Bangor, Co Down, had pleaded guilty to two counts of fraudulent training over a two-year period between April 2009 and May 2011.

The offences were committed under his name of Mark Townley before he changed his identity to Ashraf Islam by deed poll and became a Muslim convert.

Defence barrister Luke Curran told Judge Smyth that Islam was suffering from a number of mental health issues at the time he had committed the fraud offences and had also been diagnosed as being bipolar.

Police were alerted to Townley's fraudulent activities in May 2010 when they received complaints from a company called CET Ltd, which manufactures and supplies fitted spas.

Asked by Judge Smith how many victims were involved in the fraud, prosecution barrister Ted Magill replied: "It is very difficult to know. Some customers did receive goods but a lot didn't. What we can say is that the amount of money he gained is in the region of £56,000.''

Mr Magill said that when arrested, Townley "didn't hide what he had done". "I was robbing Peter to pay Paul," he told police.

In May 2013 Islam walked into a police station in London and said he was "making a plot to kill his Royal Highness Prince Harry''.

Islam was later sentenced to 18 months in custody in Maghaberry jail, which is due to expire on November 23, after which Islam will start his one-year sentence for the fraud offences.

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