- Simon Keeler and his friend Trevor Brooks, 40, were arrested in Hungary
- Pair were convicted in April 2008 of inciting terrorism and other charges
- Men were required to notify police three days before any overseas travel
- Admitted 'serious and deliberate' breach of counter-terrorism restrictions
Two Islamic hate preachers who were told they were not allowed to leave the UK have been jailed after being caught 'heading towards the Middle East' just days after the Paris attacks.
Simon Keeler, 44, and his friend Trevor Brooks, 40, were arrested in Hungary on a train bound for Bucharest, Romania, in November last year.
The pair, who were both convicted in April 2008 for terrorism charges, had been required to notify police three days in advance of any overseas travel but failed to do so.
Trevor Brooks (left), and Simon Keeler (right) have been jailed after being caught 'heading towards the Middle East' just days after the Paris attacks despite a travel ban
A spokesman for the Hungarian police said at the time of arrest it was possible the men were travelling to Syria - but the duo insisted they were going to visit family in Turkey.
The pair today admitted a 'serious and deliberate' breach of counter-terrorism restrictions at the Old Bailey and were sentenced to two years in prison.
Karen Robinson, prosecuting, said it was clear the men intended to travel for some time.
The court heard the men were carrying nearly £8,000 in sterling, euros and Hungarian forint, and had 'tough weather' clothes and supplies.
Keeler also had nine pairs of socks on him along with toothpaste and toothbrushes.
Brooks (centre) was arrested with Keeler in Hungary on a train bound for Bucharest, Romania, in November last year
The pair, who were both convicted in April 2008 for terrorism charges, had been required to notify police three days in advance of any overseas travel but failed to do so. Above, Keeler is taken to a court room in Budapest on November 19
The men were said to have boarded a lorry in London in a bid to avoid border controls and travelled to the continent where they found their way to Hungary.
It only emerged that they were subject to a European Arrest Warrant after they had been detained.
Viktoria Csiszer-Kovacs, spokesman for the Hungarian police, said at the time it was unclear where the men were heading but speculated they may have been on their way to Syria.
Ms Robinson added in court today: 'Both men... were well aware of the requirements upon them.
'The inference to be drawn from items in their possession is that they used covert means or clandestine means to leave the UK.
'Travelling under their own names, they would have both been stopped from travelling.'
Tanveer Qureshi, defending, denied the claims the men were trying to travel to the Middle East or were trying to flee and said Keeler was attempting to find his wife and six children, who had been somewhere in Turkey since October 2014.
He said: 'He became very desperate, missed his family, wanted to know what was going on.
‘Brooks was going to help Keeler look for his family, knowing full well they were not able to leave the UK.’
Keeler, of Shadwell, east London, and Brooks, of Clapton, east London, were convicted in 2008 of fundraising for a terrorism purpose and inciting terrorism.
A spokesman for the Hungarian police said at the time of arrest it was possible the men were travelling to Syria. One of the men is pictured at Budapest's Ferenc Liszt Airport being deported back to the UK in November
The charges related to speeches they had made in a London mosque four years earlier.
Following appeals, the defendants' sentences were set at three and a half years but the travel restrictions applied for a decade. Keeler has also been convicted previously of possessing false identification documents.
Mr Justice Saunders, sentencing, called the breach 'serious and deliberate' and stressed the importance of counter-terrorism restrictions.
He said: '[The restrictions] are particularly important at this time when there has been recent terrorism activity in several European countries and the fear of further terrorist attacks is intense.
'Both of these defendants have been convicted of terrorist offences in the past and Parliament has decided that to protect the public, law enforcement agencies should know where convicted terrorists are when they travel abroad so that a check can be kept on their movements.'
He added that he accepted that neither defendant was planning a terrorist attack at the time and accepted their explanation for the trip.
Brooks was born in Britain to Christian parents of Jamaican origin. He converted to Islam at the age of 17 with one of his brothers and changed his name to Abu Izzadeen.
Former builder Keeler became the first white British Muslim to be convicted of terrorism offences.
He was acquitted in July of planning to travel to Syria to join ISIS after being found in the back of a lorry at Dover.
There is no indication that either man was involved in the Paris attacks.