Jihadi Jack parents guilty of funding terrorism

Jack Letts is being held in Syria

Friday, June 21, 2019

The parents of the British Muslim convert dubbed Jihadi Jack have been handed a suspended sentence after being found guilty of funding terrorism.

Prosecutor Alison Morgan QC said John Letts and Sally Lane refused to believe their son Jack had become an extremist.

She said they “turned a blind eye to the obvious” that their son had joined the Islamic State group by the time they sent £223 in September 2015.

Letts and Lane had claimed their son was trapped in Syria and feared he was in mortal danger if they failed to send him money.

They were warned three times by police against trying to send money to their son.

The jury found the pair guilty on one charge of funding terrorism in September 2015, but not guilty on the same charge in December 2015.

They were unable to decide on a third charge dated to January 2016.

The couple have been spared jail, and were sentenced to a 15 month suspended sentence.

Jack Letts left his family home in May 2014 in what his parents believed was a journey to learn Arabic in Jordan.

A friend of the teenager had warned his parents about his growing extremism, and urged him to take away his passport.

From Jordan, Jack moved to Iraq and married the daughter of a tribal elder, before travelling to Syria.

The parents’ barrister Henry Blaxland QC told jurors the prosecution was “inhumane to the point of being cruel”.

“These parents have to all intents and purposes lost their son. They are having to deal with the trauma,” he said.

Detective Chief Superintendent Kath Barnes said investigators have a “huge empathy” for the family, but the conviction sends a clear message.

“It's not for us to choose which laws to follow and which not to and when it's OK to break the law.”

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