Thursday, January 18, 2018

Mother of five who posted ISIS propaganda on Facebook will NOT face jail after judges reject bid to overturn her suspended sentence

  • Farhana Ahmed was spared prison after she admitted encouraging terrorism 
  • She expressed approval for Paris attacks and published Islamic State speeches
  • Judge who gave her a suspended sentence cited concerns over her children
  • Ahmed, from north-west London, home-schools them and is their sole carer
  • Lord Justice Treacy said the sooner she returned home to Wembley, the better 
Farhana Ahmed was spared prison after calling for terrorists to attack the west 
Farhana Ahmed was spared prison after calling for terrorists to attack the west 
Moves to overturn the sentence of a mother-of-five who was spared jail after calling for terrorists to attack the west and posting Islamic State propaganda online have been rejected.
Farhana Ahmed was handed a suspended sentence after posting the hateful material in Facebook group Power Strangers, the membership of which swelled from 721 members to 1,480 in the two months after she joined.
Attorney General Jeremy Wright had argued that the non-custodial term imposed in the case of Farhana Ahmed was 'unduly lenient' after she admitted encouraging terrorism.
Using the alias Kay Adams, she expressed approval for the terror that hit Paris and published speeches by IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as well as his deputy.
Today three judges at the Court of Appeal in London announced they were exercising their discretion not to interfere with the sentence given to Ahmed, who is from Wembley in north-west London.
Lord Justice Treacy said Ahmed had already served the equivalent of a 13-month sentence while on remand for the offences.
Any change to the sentence by the court, taking into account her guilty pleas and strong personal mitigation, would have 'no practical effect'.

In November at the Old Bailey, Judge Christopher Moss gave Ahmed a two-year suspended sentence after she pleaded guilty to encouraging terrorism and three counts of disseminating documents.

The judge said he was moved by the 'suffering' of her children and told Ahmed that, in her 'exceptional' case, the sooner she was returned to them, the better for all concerned.

The court heard her behaviour was borne from a difficult period of her life and she had now rejected extremism.

Lord Justice Treacy said one of the important factors to take into consideration in the case was the position of Ahmed’s children, for whom she is the sole carer.

If she was returned to custody, they would be separated for a second time with further 'harmful effects'.

The judge said terrorism-related offences would normally carry immediate prison sentences, but announced: 'Whilst in our judgment this case could and should have been met by an immediate custodial sentence, so as to reflect the nature and gravity of the offending, that sentence could properly have been equivalent to time already served - that is the equivalent of a term slightly under 13 months.'

He was criticised at the time by former Tory MP Angie Bray, who said: 'I wonder if the judge has also considered the suffering of so many children deprived of their parents by the wicked actions of terrorists inspired by the depraved stuff they pick up on certain social media?'

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