Six more years for death threat prisoners

Feroz Khan (L) Fuad Awale (R)
Feroz Khan (L) Fuad Awale (R)

Two inmates already serving life for murder have been sentenced to six more years each for threatening to kill a prison officer at a North Yorkshire jail 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 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 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, who was, as such, performing a public duty and upon whom it has had a significant impact.

“The events as a whole formed part of a joint enterprise involving force and weapons, committed by men with convictions for murder.

“Both of you carried weapons to the cleaning office.

“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.

They were also accused of demanding to be flown to Afghanistan, the jury heard.

Awale had taken knives from a cleaning office cupboard and rubbed them together giving the impression he was “preparing to carve a Sunday joint”, the judge said.

He told Mr Thompson: “Stop struggling – I’ve killed two people, I will kill you, I will kill you.”

The officer said he had “every belief” he would be killed if he did not do as ordered because of the “intensity and seriousness” Awale had displayed.

Awale at one point asked Khan “can I give him one in a non-vital area?” and later said: “I thought his head would have come off by now.”

Khan, for his part, told Mr Thompson that he had more reason to be fearful because he was believed to be ex-military, the court heard.

When hedenied having been in the military, Khan told the officer: “Well, somebody has to make a sacrifice.”

Full Sutton prisoners cleared of officer kidnap – but guilty of threatening to kill him


Two Muslim killers have been convicted of threatening to kill a prison guard at a high-security jail in East Yorkshire – but cleared of kidnapping him.

A trial at the Old Bailey in London heard Feroz Khan (left), 26, and Fuad Awale (right), 26, tried to take over HMP Full Sutton after an imam holding a prayer service at the jail offered his condolences to the family of murdered soldier Lee Rigby.

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

Khan battered Mr Thompson, fracturing his eye socket, before threatening to kill him.

The jury convicted Khan of making threats to kill and causing grievous bodily harm after 13 hours’ deliberations. He was cleared of false imprisonment and assaulting a second prison guard, Rachel Oxtoby.

Awale was convicted of making threats to kill but cleared of false imprisonment.

A third man, convicted killer David Watson, 27, was also cleared of false imprisonment.

The two men will be sentenced on April 7th.

Assistant Chief Constable Mark Milsom, lead for the North East Counter Terrorism Unit, said: “The incident at HMP Full Sutton was terrifying for all involved and in particular the prison officer who found himself at the centre of this attack.

“This attack was unprovoked and pre-planned. Thankfully, Khan and Awale were prevented from carrying out their threats in full and prison staff escaped with serious, but not life threatening, injuries.

“Khan and Awale are dangerous, violent individuals who threatened the lives of innocent people. They have shown they deserve no place in our society and we are grateful that they will remain behind bars for the foreseeable future.”

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

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.

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

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

After the siege was broken up by riot officers, Khan made a full confession, stating the attack had been his idea.

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

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

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 had been convicted of the double murder of two teenagers, shot in a Milton Keynes drug war in January last year.

Watson, a white Muslim convert, stabbed a security guard to death at a HMV store in Norwich’s Chapelfield shopping centre after being caught with a stolen CD on December 18, 2006. He converted to Islam following his conviction in August 2007.

Hostage Incident Ends At Full Sutton

full sutton

Two prison officers have been taken hostage and attacked by three inmates at a maximum-security jail near York.

The incident on Sunday at Full Sutton Prison in East Yorkshire lasted for four hours.

The Prison Service said the staff were treated for injuries which were not thought to be life-threatening.

The Prison Officer’s Association (POA) said it was aware of the “hostage incident”. The North East Counter Terrorism Unit is investigating.

The POA said it was sending a national representative to the prison to determine exactly what happened.

Steve Gillan, the POA’s general secretary, said: “Until the full facts of the incident are known we do not wish to comment further for fear of compromising any police investigation.

“We can confirm that officers sustained injuries and had it not been for the professionalism of prison officers dealing with this violent incident the outcome could have been worse.”

The Prison Service spokeswoman said the incident started at 16:25 BST and ended at 20:40 “after staff intervened”.

She would not confirm reports that one of the prison officers was held hostage and stabbed, or give details of the identities of the prisoners involved.

Mark Leech editor of Converse the national newspaper for prisoners said the High Security Estate was currently on ‘tenterhooks’

“Since the savage and brutal murder of Drummer Lee Rigby the whole of our High Security Prison Estate has been on tenterhooks, prison staff have been advised to be extra vigilant for anti-muslim tensions or pre-emptive attacks by muslim inmates who fear for their safety in the aftermath of the soldier’s murder.

“Our High Security prisons are extremely difficult to manage at the best of times, in the current climate they become even more so and its a tribute to the Tornado Team who made the intervention that no serious injuries were sustained.”