Terrorists who attempted to murder officer in top security prison given life sentences

Terrorists who attempted to murder officer in top security prison given life sentences

 

A man has been jailed for life for attempting to murder a prison officer in an Islamist terror attack.

Brusthom Ziamani, 25, was given a life sentence with a minimum term of 21 years at the Old Bailey for attempting to murder a prison officer at Whitemoor jail in Cambridgeshire on January 9 this year.

Ziamani was jailed for 22 years after he was caught with a hammer and knife en route to behead a soldier in 2014.

While being held at HMP Whitemoor, Ziamani befriended radicalised Baz Hockton, 26, and the pair hatched a terror attack behind bars, the Old Bailey previously heard.

Hockton was also handed a life sentence with a minimum term of 23 years.

Mrs Justice May said she was satisfied he was “inspired by extremist beliefs” and had a “terrorist connection”.

She told him: “Your current twisted view of Islam needs to change.”

Hockton, who has a long history of violence and possessing bladed articles, is three years into a 12-year jail term for stabbing and punching a man in October 2016 and slashing another the following month.

He was also sentenced to a concurrent 10-year term for wounding a prisoner with intent to cause grievous bodily harm at Swaleside prison, on the Isle of Sheppey in Kent, in April last year.

The court heard how he slashed victim Tristan Walker with a weapon that was never recovered, leaving his victim with a scar.

They made makeshift bladed weapons and fake suicide belts to launch a ferocious attack on officer Neil Trundle on January 9.

The pair screamed: ‘Allahu Akbar’ and wore hoax suicide vests as they attacked Neil Trundle, their trial at the Old Bailey was told.

Two female staff members were hurt as they tried to stop the assault, with left Mr Trundle covered in blood.

Ziamani, originally from Camberwell, south London, had denied attempted murder and an alternative of wounding with intent, but admitted assaulting the two women.

He claimed he wanted to be transferred because Whitemoor had become hostile to Muslims in the wake of former inmate Usman Khan’s attack at Fishmonger Hall.

Hockton, originally from Dagenham, who declined to give evidence, had denied attempted murder but admitted wounding with intent.

An Old Bailey jury deliberated for three hours and nine minutes to find them both guilty of attempted murder.

Ziamani would have been eligible for parole in 2027 but the judge, Mrs Justice May, handed him a life sentence on Thursday and said he must serve at least 21 years.

She said: “It is quite plain to me that the defendants must have been planning this terrorist operation for some time, preparing fake suicide belts and multiple weapons for the purpose.

“It is no accident the January 9 attack came just weeks after the London Bridge attack in November 2019.”

The judge added: “These defendants, inside prison, didn’t have ready access to weapons or explosives but did their utmost to plan and execute a terrorist attack with what they could get their hands upon in prison.”

Ziamani, with a shaved head and beard, showed no emotion but clasped his hands together as he left the dock flanked by five dock officers.

Hockton will be sentenced later on Thursday.

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