In early October 2020 two Category A prisoners convicted of the attempted murder of a prison officer at HMP Whitemoor, were sentenced to life.
Brusthom Ziamani, 25, and Baz Hockton, 26, stabbed “kind and helpful” Neil Trundle at HMP Whitemoor, Cambridgeshire, on 9 January 2020.
Ziamani, already serving 22 years for a plot to behead a British soldier in London received a further 21 years while Hockton, who has no previous terrorist-related convictions and was radicalised in prison, was told he must serve a minimum tariff of 23 years.
We have to wake up and deal with those sentenced for terrorist offences (Tact offenders) differently.
Quite part from all those murdered and maimed on 7/7 and 21/7, and soldiers like Lee Rigby publicly beheaded on a London street, we have had hundreds of children and teenagers blown up, maimed and killed in the Manchester Arena attack, dozens mowed down injured and killed on Westminster and London Bridges, muslims leaving the Finsbury Park Mosque mowed down by a crazed white man in a van, and we have had police officers like Keith Palmer guarding Parliament stabbed to death and innocent shoppers on Streatham High Street knifed both by former Tact offenders released from prison.
The Whitemoor attack on Prison Officer Neil Trundle, where he came within an inch of his life, revealed that we have convicted Tact offenders roaming free inside our Maximum Security prisons – prisons providing the highest possible levels of security our prison system has to offer – where the evidence showed they nevertheless were able to acquire lethal weapons and manufacture genuine looking suicide vests, and all done right under the noses of some of the most highly trained prison staff our system has amongst its staffing numbers.
So what should we do?
My views are pretty simple, they come in three parts and they get straight to the issue.
Firstly, any terrorist, aligned to extremism based on race, colour, creed or any other protected characteristic and who, by their crazed actions, declares war on the UK seeking to murder, maim, mow down, blow up or otherwise destroy our country, our culture, our freedoms and way of life and convicted of Tact offences, then the sentence must always be mandatory life, with a tariff set by a judge dependent on the severity of the offence – and we need an additional Security Category just for terrorists too so they are singled out and identified for the very real threat that they pose; Category E.
Secondly as a self-declared ‘soldier’ of whatever warped ideological extreme they choose to align themselves with against the UK, their custody as ‘soldiers’ will be in the hands of the Military, detained not in a civilian prison under the agency of the Ministry of Justice where they can radicalise vulnerable others – but in a Military Prison, under the command of the Ministry of Defence, where they can’t.
Finally any release from their sentence post-tariff will be determined by a specialist Terrorist Parole Board, consisting of counter-terrorism officers, lawyers, lay people and there will be a presumption against release that the offender is required to displace but, if they are released, they will be on licence for life, Tpims will be mandatory and a specialist ‘T-MAPPA’ (Terrorism – Multi-Agency Public Protection Agency) will be established to monitor them around the clock.
If more innocent lives are not to be lost to these maniacs then we have to act, and act right now.