Sentencing was delayed by Mr Justice Sweeney to allow time for a specially-constituted court to decide if “whole-life” tariffs can still be handed to criminals who have committed the very worst of crimes. Mr Justice Sweeney’s move was a clear signal that a whole-life order – that is, sentenced to life in prison with no minimum term or chance for a Parole Board review – was firmly on the table for at least one of the defendants.
It is still down to Mr Justice Sweeney to decide if a whole-life term is appropriate. Last week, a panel of five judges, including the most senior judge in England and Wales,
Lord Chief Justice Lord Thomas, declared that sentencing judges can continue to impose whole-life tariffs. The guidance comes in the wake of a decision by the European Court of Human Rights last year in an appeal by three murderers.
Police and MI5 will put “tailored plans” in place to manage the risks posed by terror suspects when existing supervision measures expire later this month, the Home Office has insisted
The orders have a two-year time limit and the Daily Telegraph reported that restrictions are due to be lifted on seven suspects, who would be granted lifetime anonymity to protect their human rights.
Terrorism prevention and investigation measures (Tpims), which include restrictions on overnight residence, travel and finance, are imposed by the Home Secretary, who is given access to secret evidence that cannot be placed before juries.
Unlike the control order regime they replaced they have a maximum time limit of two years. Control orders could be extended year on year without limit, while Tpims can be extended only after a year for another 12 months before they expire.
By January 26 the controls on seven of the eight people subject to Tpims will have expired because of the time limit, which can be extended only if new evidence of terror activity is found, the newspaper reported.
Last year David Anderson, the independent reviewer of terrorism legislation, said the Tpims on six suspects would expire this month.
The Home Office said as of November 30 last year eight Tpim notices were in force but they would not provide a “running commentary” on the issue or comment on individual cases, and the next official statistics on the regime would be published in March.
Security Minister James Brokenshire said: “The police and Security Service believe Tpims have been effective in reducing the national security risk posed by a number of individuals. However, they are just one weapon in the considerable armoury at their disposal and are imposed as part of a package of measures designed to disrupt a person’s activities.
“It is not possible to discuss individual cases, but the police and Security Service have been working for some time to put tailored plans in place to manage the risk posed by these individuals once their Tpim restrictions are removed. These plans, which are similar to those put in place for the release of prisoners who have served their sentences, are kept under constant review.”
But shadow crime and security minister Diana Johnson told the newspaper: “The Government needs to explain what the plan is to deal with the extremist terror suspects whose Tpims run out at the end of January because of Theresa May’s decision to downgrade terror laws.
“These are suspects that only this year the Home Secretary was arguing were too dangerous to be left uncontrolled and that was agreed to by judges.
“We need an urgent independent threat assessment of whether Tpims on any of the January suspects needs to be extended. If Theresa May won’t do this, the Prime Minister needs to instead.”
Keith Vaz, Labour chairman of the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee, added: “It would be odd to have a situation where anonymity remains in place even though these orders have expired.”It would be sensible to have a review of this situation.”
Liberty director Shami Chakrabarti said: “The nonsense of these ‘anti-terror asbos’ is once more exposed. Innocent people can be punished for long periods without charge or trial, whilst dangerous ones live in the community and not behind bars.
“This sloppy law, in which all the main parties have been complicit, serves neither justice nor security and should now be scrapped once and for all.”
One of the men shot by police in the wake of the murder of soldier Lee Rigby has been discharged from hospital, Scotland Yard said.
The 22-year-old, understood to be Michael Adebowale, from Greenwich, south-east London, was taken into custody at a police station in south London.
He was arrested on suspicion of the murder of Drummer Rigby on May 22, and was further arrested on suspicion of the attempted murder of a police officer. He will now be interviewed by detectives from the Metropolitan Police Service Counter Terrorism Command.
Adebowale and Michael Adebolajo, 28, have been recovering in hospital after they were both shot by armed police in the immediate aftermath of Drummer Rigby’s murder.
The young soldier was hacked to death near Woolwich barracks in south-east London last Wednesday, and since his death detectives have arrested 10 people. These include Adebowale and Adebolajo, as well as a 50-year-old man who was held in Welling, south-east London on Monday and is currently being questioned.
A 22-year-old man arrested in Highbury, north London, on Sunday, and three men detained on Saturday over the killing have all been released on bail, as has a fifth man, aged 29. Two women, aged 29 and 31, were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to murder but later released without charge.
In the wake of the attack it emerged that Adebolajo and Adebowale were both known to MI5. Adebolajo was also arrested by Kenyan authorities three years ago because they feared he was attempting to join an al Qaida-linked militant group, the country’s anti-terrorism police said.
The murder has sparked a flurry of activity by far right group the English Defence League, and on Monday more than 1,000 supporters marched to Downing Street chanting “Muslim killers off our streets” and “There’s only one Lee Rigby” in tribute to the soldier.
A massive police presence kept them separate from a smaller group of anti-fascist activists, with officers making 13 arrests in total for a range of public order offences. Forces charity Help for Heroes announced it will not accept any donations raised by EDL leader Tommy Robinson or other members of the group, or any political party.
Police are now investigating two attacks by vandals on the RAF Bomber Command memorial and the Animals in War memorial in London. Both were daubed with graffiti and although the words written on the two memorials have now been covered up, it is thought “Islam” had been written on each of them.
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.”