Saturday, July 22, 2017
- Anjem Choudary received £140,557 to fund unsuccessful defence at Old Bailey
- Put behind bars in August after being found guilty of inciting support for ISIS
- Choudary is thought to have milked £500,000 in benefits from the British state
Anjem Choudary was put behind bars in August after being found guilty of inciting support for the terror group in a series of sick online lectures
Britain's most notorious hate preacher has received more than £140,000 in taxpayer-funded legal aid in his attempt to dodge jail for supporting ISIS.
Anjem Choudary was put behind bars in August after being found guilty of inciting support for the terror group in a series of sick online lectures.
He is believed to have inspired at least 110 Britons into committing terrorist acts and encouraged up to 850 fanatics to travel to Syria to fight for the Islamic State.
And today MailOnline can reveal he billed the taxpayer £140,557 for his unsuccessful court battle - and the figure is set to rise as his lawyers continue to file claims.
The data, revealed in a freedom of information request, includes £98,122 to pay for a solicitor, £23,569 for another court lawyer, and £18,866 in legal firm expenses.
After an Old Bailey trial shrouded in secrecy, Choudary was found guilty of 'inviting support for a proscribed organisation' under the Terrorism Act 2000.
His deputy, Mizanur Rahman, was convicted of the same offence, and the pair were each sentenced to five and a half years in prison.
Choudary has long served as the smug public face of radical Islam, organising protests against British troops and spouting his bile in TV interviews.
Choudary billed taxpayers £140,557 for his court battle - and the figure is set to rise as his lawyers continue to file claims. Pictured here with Lee Rigby killer Michael Adebolajo
The father-of-five milked the state throughout his campaign of hatred, claiming up to £500,000 in benefits, which he referred to as 'Jihadseeker's allowance'.
He urged supporters to follow his example, saying ‘the normal situation is for you to take money from the kuffar [non-Muslim]’.
Choudary's now-banned radical group, Al-Muhajiroun, has links to 15 terror plots, including the murder of Lee Rigby and the 7/7 attacks.
As leader, he repeatedly provoked the British public with a series of stunts in which his followers burned remembrance poppies and disrupted Armistice Day events.
Choudary also called for Buckingham Palace to be turned into a mosque and paraded a picture of his vision which was made by a man now fighting for ISIS.
For his trial anti-terror police investigated 20 years worth of material, with more than 333 electronic devices containing 12 terabytes of storage data analysed.
Choudary called for Buckingham Palace to be turned into a mosque and paraded a picture of his vision which was made by a man now fighting for ISIS
For his trial anti-terror police investigated 20 years worth of material, with more than 333 electronic devices containing 12 terabytes of storage data analysed
His conviction could be revealed only after the case had concluded due to court orders banning reporting.
Their trial heard Choudary swore an oath of allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in an East London pub after the so-called 'caliphate' was declared.
He and his deputy then pressed upon Muslims their supposed obligation to 'make hijrah', meaning to travel to ISIS-occupied lands, the court heard.
In Choudary's incendiary speeches, he told his followers ISIS had met the theological conditions for a legitimate caliphate.
At a time when the ISIS executioner Jihadi John was beheading hostages and posting the videos online, Choudary quoted a saying of the Prophet: 'Whoever comes to dispute with him, strike his neck.'
The drug taking, heavy drinking student who became the public face of British radical Islam
Born in south-east London to a market stall-holder, Choudary attended Southampton University, where he indulged in casual sex, porn and experimented with LSD and cannabis.
But he joined Al-Muhajiroun after falling under the spell of founder Omar Bakri Mohammed, the notorious preacher who praised the 9/11 attack and hailed the London 7 July bombers the 'Fantastic Four'.
His band of rabble-rousers rose to prominence in 2006 protesting against Danish cartoons of Mohammed.
This was followed by protests at parades for soldiers returning from Afghanistan, burning poppies and screaming insults during a two-minute silence on Armistice Day in November 2010.
From Choudary's secret headquarters hidden in the cellar of a sweet shop run by his family in London's East End, he spread his vile ideology to his tens of thousands of followers on Facebook, YouTube, What's App and Twitter.
But, using his legal training as a solicitor and forensic understanding of terrorism legislation, Choudary always managed to dodge prosecution, playing cat and mouse with police and MI5.
Tens of millions of pounds was spent investigating him.
On July 7 of that year, the preacher and his disciple Mohammed Mizanur Rahman, 33, signed an oath of allegiance to IS which was posted on the internet.
Choudary was arrested two months later and convicted after a month-long trial at the Old Bailey.
Friday, July 21, 2017
Muslim mother sues school dubbed 'the socialist Eton' for banning her from wearing face veil on its premises
- Rachida Serroukh, 37, was told about policy by staff at Holland Park School
- Single mother-of-three's 11-year-old daughter will be starting there in autumn
- She was told everybody must be identified on site for health and safety reasons
- Mother said: 'I was very shaken and in a state of shock about what had happened'
A Muslim mother is suing a top London school dubbed the 'socialist Eton' after it allegedly banned her from wearing her face veil on its premises.
Rachida Serroukh, 37, said she was left upset after being told about the policy at an evening for parents of new pupils at Holland Park School in West London.
The single mother-of-three, whose 11-year-old daughter will be starting there this autumn, was told everybody must be identified on site for health and safety reasons.
The Muslim mother is taking legal action against Holland Park School (above) in West London
Ms Serroukh, who is a devout Muslim and has worn a veil for 14 years, has now launched a discrimination test case against the school, reported The Guardian.
The childcare assistant was approached by a staff member after listening to a talk by the headmaster in June and was told she could not wear a face veil on site.
She told Guardian reporter Diane Taylor: 'I was very shaken and was in a state of shock about what had happened. I had never experienced anything like this before.
'I have experienced name calling in the street from strangers about my veil but nothing like this had ever happened before. When I got home, I just broke down.'
The school says face veils are banned so that everybody is identified on site (file picture)
She added that she always lifts her veil and shows her photo identification when asked for security reasons and had 'no problem' from security at the school gate.
Ms Serroukh wrote to the school for clarification, and deputy headmaster Ross Wilson replied to her in email saying it did not have a written policy on the veil.
But he added that, following her concerns, 'we are now considering a written amendment to our health and safety policy to include this specific requirement'.
The flagship academy, which is praised in Tatler's top 20 state secondary schools guide, has been contacted for comment by MailOnline today.
Wednesday, July 19, 2017
Brave student, 18, helped snare the rapist who attacked her by filming the entire assault on her mobile phone
- Lillian Constantine was attacked at 2am by Ashraf Miah, 34, in Ramsgate, Kent
- Miah attacked her beneath a street light, turned off by the council to save money
- Lillian was able to hit the record button as she was using mobile to light the way
- Miah, a Bangladeshi takeaway worker, was jailed for 13-and-a-half years
Student Lillian Constantine (above), 18, helped snare the man who tried to rape her after she managed to record the brutal assault on her mobile phone in Ramsgate, Kent
A teenager helped snare the man who tried to rape her after she managed to record the brutal assault on her mobile phone.
Student Lillian Constantine, 18, can be heard screaming and pleading with her attacker on the two-minute 47-second clip, recorded on her Samsung as she walked home in Ramsgate, Kent.
It is thought to be the first time ever that a victim's own footage of an entire attack has helped put a rapist behind bars.
It was only because Lillian was using her phone to light the way that she was able to hit the record button.
Ashraf Miah, 34, attacked her beneath a street light that had been turned off by a council to save money.
Police were able to isolate a still from the grainy film, allowing Miah, a Bangladeshi takeaway worker, to be traced to an address in London.
The illegal immigrant was jailed last month for 13-and-a-half years and must serve a minimum of nine-and-a-half years.
In an amazing show of courage, the teenager has today waived her right to anonymity to tell other sex crime victims to come forward.
She said: 'It can be hard to fight off a grown man, but if anyone in my situation can grab their phone and try to capture them, you may have more of a chance.
Ashraf Miah, 34, attacked Lillian beneath a street light that had been turned off by a council to save money. Police were able to isolate a still from the grainy film (left), allowing the Bangladeshi takeaway worker to be traced to an address in London. Miah (police mugshot, right) was jailed last month for 13-and-a-half years
'I'm glad I did it. If I hadn't, it would have been someone else in the end.'
Sentencing Miah at Canterbury Crown Court, Judge James O'Mahony said watching the 'ruthless and determined' assault on film would stay with him for a 'very long time'.
He said: 'In 13 years on the bench, I have seldom heard a more harrowing incident of the brave victim screaming in terror and pleading for it to stop and the awful suffering she endured.
'If anyone needed a wake-up call as to just how horrific the offence of attempted rape is, then this was it.'
He added that he would be recommending Miah - who had been living illegally in Britain for ten years - for deportation at the end of his sentence, telling him 'You are highly dangerous... you have no business being here.'
Lillian was attacked near her home in the seaside town. She was distraught when she learned 124 lights in the borough had been turned off from midnight to 5.30am to save Kent County Council £1million a year and cut carbon emissions.
Several other county councils have adopted the policy.
She said: 'The road has a lot of street lights but they had been turned off. There was a light right above where it happened, but it wasn't on.
'If the lights had been on then I would have had loads of footage of him and it would have been easier for the police. It would have also been a deterrent in the first place. I am angry about it.
Lillian had been recording footage in bars as part of her media studies coursework. She had one glass of wine at about midnight and at 2am began to make her way home. Miah - who had already pestered one girl for sex that night - spotted her in the Enoteca bar (file image)
'It was ridiculous they weren't on just to save money.'
Lillian had been recording footage in bars as part of her media studies coursework. She had one glass of wine at about midnight and at 2am she and the friend she was working with began to make their way home.
Miah - who had already pestered one girl for sex that night - spotted her in the Enoteca bar.
Her family home was just a short walk away but as she made her way along a darkened seafront road, she saw Miah coming for her.
She said: 'Out of the corner of my eye, I saw someone. As soon as he touched me on the shoulder, that's when I started to record.
Usually when I walk home I text people. It's also a source of light.
'He came up, asked me where I was going and I said I was going home.
'And then he started to try to tackle me to the floor. It was like, arms round the shoulders, his leg trying to trip me up, anything he could to try and ground me.
'I had no idea why at first. The first thing that came into my head was he was going to mug me. I was screaming the whole time, "I'm filming you, I'm filming you. I'm going to call the f***ing police, I'm filming you right now. You are not going to get away with this".'
The noise woke residents and one slammed a door, which scared Miah off. Bruised and bleeding, Lillian managed to scramble the 30 seconds home.
Her mother, Karen - a local councillor and magistrate - woke to her daughter's cries as she stumbled through the front door.
Mrs Constantine said: 'I realised the seriousness. It was instant. The state she was in, I thought "This is a sexual assault". My instinct was just to hold her.'
Two male officers were sent to the scene.
Lillian had to bag up her clothes and couldn't wash for a day as she awaited for an appointment at the sexual assault referral centre at Maidstone Hospital, almost 50 miles away.
Staff took hair clippings, fingernail samples, a swab and logged every cut and bruise. A DNA sample was obtained but no match was found on the DNA database.
Later, Lillian had to have dozens of blood tests, a pregnancy test and HIV prevention medication that left her bedbound for a month.
But it was the harrowing footage shot on her smartphone that was to prove crucial.
Police managed to isolate a darkened still of a man's features from the wobbling and dark film and door-to-door enquiries identified him as Miah, whose year-long work visa ran out a decade ago and had been doing cash-in-hand jobs ever since.
Miah would only admit to attempted rape and Lillian couldn't face the uncertainty and cross-examination a full rape trial would bring.
The Constantine family now want a raft of measures to help boost rape conviction rates.
They say first responders should always be female when the victim is a woman and that rape-trained officers should be available at all times on a rota system.
More sexual assault referral centres should be available, regardless of whether a police complaint has been made, and a database should be created where victims can report attacks anonymously.
Most importantly, they say any cuts to women's services should be halted.
Lillian, meanwhile, aims to get on with her life by heading to university in Manchester in September.
And in a plea to other victims, she added: 'Don't put limitations on yourself because it's happened. It may be draining. It may linger, but it won't define you.
'I don't need to feel ashamed and neither should anyone else.'
Illegal immigrant who was jailed for attempted rape gets £27,000 compensation for being in prison too long
- Bashdar Qarani who had no official ID papers, spent two years in prison before he was allowed out but was locked up again to prevent him from disappearing
- Authorities could not prove his nationality so were not able to send him home
- Mr Justice Mott ruled that his human rights were breached at High Court
An illegal immigrant, who was jailed for attempted rape, has been given £27,000 in compensation for being in prison too long.
Bashdar Abdulla Qarani, 36, arrived in Britain illegally in 2005, and became a repeat offender, including battery, theft and carrying a knife.
He was allowed to stay in the country and was jailed for four years in 2012 for attempted rape in South Wales.
Mr Justice Mott ruled that his human rights were breached, at the High Court in London
The Kurd, who had no official ID papers, spent two years in prison before he was allowed out on licence but was locked up again to prevent him from disappearing.
Because the authorities could not prove his nationality they were not able to send him to his native country.
Deputy High Court Judge Mr Justice Mott acknowledged that the sex offender had a history of absconding, but ruled that he had been unlawfully detained for 11 months prior to his release last December.
The judge awarded him £27,000 in compensation. He is still due to be deported.
It is not known whether the woman he tried to rape, who cannot be named for legal reasons, received any damages. But under Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority rules, she would only have been entitled to around £7,500.
Charity Voice4Victims said the case showed the ‘imbalance’ between the rights of offenders and victims. The Home Office said it did not comment on individual cases.
Tory MP Philip Hollobone, who wants the Human Rights Act scrapped, called it 'barmy', according to The Sun.
Qarani now has to report to the authorities each week.
TWO MUSLIMS, a male and a female, charged with murdering a young mother and dumping her body in the woods
- Akshar Ali, 26, and Yasmin Ahmed, 27, are both due before magistrates in Leeds
- They are accused of killing Sinead Wooding whose body was found on Sunday
- She was discovered in woods near Alwoodley Crags car park in West Yorkshire
- Asim Ali, 20, has been charged with assisting offender and is due before court
The body of 26-year-old Sinead Wooding was found in woodland in Leeds on Sunday
Two people have been charged with murdering a 26-year-old woman whose body was found in woodland.
Akshar Ali, 26, of Hyde Park, and Yasmin Ahmed, 27, of Potternewton, are both due before magistrates in Leeds accused of murdering Sinead Wooding, who is believed to be a mother.
Her body was found by joggers on Sunday in woods near Alwoodley Crags car park in the north of the city.
Asim Ali, 20, also of Hyde Park, has been charged with assisting an offender and is also due before court, officers added.
Detective Chief Inspector Stuart Spencer from West Yorkshire Police said that Miss Wooding's family were 'completely devastated about her death'.
He added that specially-trained family liaison officers are supporting the family 'at what is obviously an incredibly difficult time'.