Lifers get six more years over
threat to kill warder

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Two inmates already serving life for murder have been sentenced to six more years each for threatening to kill a prison officer days after the murder of Fusilier Lee Rigby.

Feroz Khan and Fuad Awale, both 26, were found guilty at the Old Bailey last week following the incident at HMP Full Sutton in North Yorkshire on May 26 last year.

Khan was also convicted of inflicting grievous bodily harm on prison officer Richard Thompson after relations between Muslim inmates and guards ‘’became strained’’ in the days following Fusilier Rigby’s death.

Judge Michael Topolski QC yesterday sentenced Khan to six years for threats to kill and three years for GBH, to run concurrently at the end of his life sentence with a minimum of 20 years.

Awale was also sentenced to six years for threats to kill, to be served at the end of his life sentence, which carries a minimum term of 38 years.

Passing sentence, the judge said: “This was a premeditated, well planned and carefully orchestrated attack on a single and previously identified prison officer.

“Given the context, the level of threats uttered and repeated were truly appalling, causing great anguish, not just to prison officer Thompson but also his colleagues who were convinced he was going to die in horrific circumstances.”

The men were cleared by the jury of charges of false imprisonment during the four and a half hour stand-off along with co-defendant David Watson, 27.

Khan was also found not guilty of assault occasioning actual bodily harm against another officer.

Their trial earlier this year heard allegations that the defendants called for the release of Abu Qatada and Roshonara Choudhry, a student who attempted to stab MP Stephen Timms to death in 2010.

Paul Hynes QC, defending Khan, said his client had hit Mr Thompson “harder than he meant to and harder than was necessary, by his own admission”.

But it could be said that his client’s actions amounted to a case of “excessive self-defence”.

For Awale, Joel Bennathan QC said the men had made their demands “for effect” rather than as an “act of jihad”.