Milton Keynes double killer gets extra six years on sentence for ‘jailhouse Jihad’ attempt

Fuad Awale
Fuad Awale

A Milton Keynes double murderer and an accomplice who threatened to behead a prison officer after staging a ‘Jailhouse Jihad’ at one of Britain’s highest security prisons were jailed for an extra six years today.

Fuad Awale, who was jailed for life in 2013 for the murders of two teenagers shot in a “drug turf” dispute in Fishermead, and fellow prisoner Feroz Khan tried to take over HMP Full Sutton, near York, after an iman dared to offer his condolences to the family of murdered soldier Lee Rigby.

Khan stormed out of prayer service after the imam’s comments and visited every Muslim prisoner in a bid to start an Islamic uprising.

The pair targeted prison guard Richard Thompson, believing him to be ex-British military, and demanded the release of hate preacher Abu Qatada.

But the hostage negotiator calmly told the kidnappers their timing was ‘s***’ - because it was the night of the Britain’s Got Talent final.

Khan, who is serving a 20 year minimum sentence for murder, battered Mr Thompson, fracturing his eye socket before threatening to kill the guard.

He had planned the attack after telling another guard that it was a Muslim’s duty to ‘fight until Sharia law is established in every country’.

Accomplice Awale, who is serving a minimum of 38 years for a double murder, repeatedly threatened to behead Mr Thompson.

Judge Michael Topolski QC said that both men would have to serve a six-year prison sentence once they had reached the end of their life sentences.

He told them: “To the authorities this looked like an attack by committed Islamists making demands for the release of others, threatening a beheading four days after the attack in Woolwich.

“This was a premeditated, well planned and carefully orchestrated attack on a single and previously identified prison officer who was performing a public duty and upon whom it has had a significant impact.

“Given the context the level of threats utters 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.”

Khan was sentenced to three years imprisonment for causing grievous bodily harm to Mr Thompson and six years concurrent for making threats to kill.

Awale, formerly of Cranesbill Place, Milton Keynes, was sentenced to six years for making threats to kill.

The jury had cleared Khan, Awale and a third man, convicted killer David Watson, 27, of false imprisonment and cleared Khan of assaulting a second prison guard, Rachel Oxtoby.

Judge Topolski said the verdicts indicated that the prosecution had failed to convince the jury the men were not acting under duress.

Jurors had heard relations between staff and Muslim inmates at Full Sutton had become tense following Drummer Rigby’s death last May 22.

The killers later claimed they took action because of the ‘abusive ill-treatment’ of Muslims by fellow prisoners and prison officers.

Four days later Mr Thompson was ambushed as he walked into a cleaning office on the prison’s Echo Wing and held hostage for nearly five hours.

Khan struck the guard in the face and fractured his eye socket before threatening to kill him.

As Mr Thompson was pinned to his chair Awale pointed a sharp implement by his throat and said: ‘Stop struggling, I’ve killed two people - I’ll kill you’.

Mr Thompson said: ‘I saw Awale playing with the knives. At one stage he was rubbing the knives together, rather like someone who was preparing to carve up a Sunday roast.’

Khan told prison guards outside the office that only a few were allowed to remain for negotiations - which included the release of Qatada, who was then awaiting deportation to Jordan to face terror charges.

The trio also demanded the release of Roshonara Choudhry, the student who stabbed MP Stephen Timms twice in the stomach with a kitchen knife at a constituency surgery in May 2010.

Jurors heard Khan dictated the demands to Awale, who asked him: ‘Should I write we are terrorists?’

Khan replied: ‘Just write whatever you want’.

He then used the tannoy system to greet his fellow Muslim prisoners in the Arabic for ‘peace be upon you’ before announcing he had taken an officer hostage.

Khan said: ‘As-salamu alaykum, this is Feroz. We have taken an officer hostage and we are going to make some demands.

‘We are asking for the release of Abu Qatada and our beloved sister Roshonara Choudhry and we are asking for this to be placed in the media.

‘Pray for us that everything goes well’.

Negotiator John Elliot told the court: “Part of what I was aiming to do was to get them to think clearly about the demands they made, what the realistic prospect was for having them met.

“The only one I could work on was the third demand and them wanting a television to see the news.

“I engaged with Mr Khan as to the likelihood of this particular demand given that it was a Sunday evening, that most people will be going to bed’.

He continued: “I then also added that the following day was a Bank Holiday Monday so most people would be going to the coast, having barbeques, they wouldn’t be watching the news.

“I think I said that evening as well, it was X Factor or Britain’s Got Talent, one of those programmes, it was the final so people would be watching that rather than the news.

“And in order to drive that home I remember saying to Mr Khan: ‘Your timing is s**t’.”

After the siege was broken up by riot officers, Khan made a full confession to police, stating that the attack was his idea and that he had taken Mr Thompson captive because he was ‘rude’.

Mr Thompson had to be taken to York Hospital’s A&E for his injuries while another guard suffered bruising and scratches to her arm during the struggle.

Khan had told jurors he planned to take a prison guard hostage in order to stage a high profile terrorist incident ‘perfectly timed’ with the murder of Drummer Rigby.

The convict claimed that he acted in the days after the soldier’s death so he could gain maximum media exposure.

He said he was in ‘constant fear’ of his life following a rise in tension on Echo Wing and that he felt threatened by prison staff and non-Muslim inmates in the wake of the Woolwich murder.

Khan, Awale, and Watson were all serving life sentences for murder at the time of the incident.

On February 26, 2007, Khan shot his friend Skander Rehman in the back of the head at point blank range after luring him to a park in Bradford - wrongly believing he was having an affair with his wife.

He began practising Islam at HMP Wakefield where he claims staff treated him differently once he grew a beard and started praying.

Like Khan, Somali-born Awale became a devout Muslim once he was behind bars.

He was convicted of the double murder of two teenagers who were shot in a Milton Keynes drug war in January last year.

Mohammed Abdi Farah, 19, and Amin Ahmed Ismail, 18, were gunned down by Awale in a Fishermead alleyway on May 26, 2011.

Watson, a white Muslim convert, stabbed to death a security guard at a HMV store in Norwich’s Chapelfield shopping centre after being caught with a stolen CD on December 18, 2006.

The drug dealer murdered Paul Cavanagh after fearing police would find £10,000 of crack cocaine he had in a carrier bag.

He converted to Islam following his conviction in August 2007.

Khan, formerly of Cumberland Road in Bradford, west Yorks, denied false imprisonment, making threats to kill, causing grievous bodily harm and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Awale denied false imprisonment and making threats to kill, and Watson, formerly of Hackney, east London, denied false imprisonment.