Westminster attacker’s violent history revealed at inquest

Westminster attacker’s violent history revealed at inquest

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Westminster terrorist Khalid Masood’s mother feared he would kill someone while he was still a teenager, an inquest has heard.

His failed relationships, violent criminal past and conversion to Islam during the first of two spells in prison were presented at the inquest into his victims' deaths on Wednesday.

Masood, 52, was shot dead by police after fatally stabbing PC Keith Palmer, 48, and hitting with his car Kurt Cochran, 54, Leslie Rhodes, 75, Aysha Frade, 44, and Andreea Cristea, 31, on Westminster Bridge, causing fatal injuries.

The Old Bailey heard Masood believed his Muslim faith was reinforced by a number of “miracles in his life”.

Masood first got into trouble with the police aged 14 after shoplifting while he lived in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, with his mother, stepfather, and two stepbrothers.

Counter-terror officer Detective Chief Inspector Dan Brown said: "His mother suggested he exhibited normal boisterous behaviour, but his two brothers suggested he was a violent, disruptive person, who would not back down from a disagreement."

 

‘She worried he would kill someone’

The Old Bailey heard Masood's mother Janet Ajao told police he would go out to pubs and clubs looking for a fight as an older teenager.

DCI Brown added: "She also described him as an angry person.

"She was worried he would kill someone through fighting."

John Hough QC, counsel for the inquest, described a "number of incidents of significant violence escalating in seriousness and apparently becoming more regular".

On April 21 1989, he was arrested for assault occasioning actual bodily harm for hitting someone in the face after "an incident involving a bus", but the case was withdrawn and did not go to trial.

The following year he was arrested in a restaurant in Tunbridge Wells after he pulled a telephone off its mounting on the wall, and hit police officers when he was arrested and damaged a window.

In May 2003, Masood plunged a carving knife through the nose of Daniel Smith, who had suggested Masood was an undercover policeman.

Masood claimed self-defence and was acquitted of attempted murder, wounding with intent and having a bladed weapon.

He was released from West Sussex's Lewes prison, where he had been held on remand, in December 2003 based on time served having been convicted of another weapons offence.

The inquest heard he credited his acquittal as well as the survival of his eldest daughter, who was later involved in a serious car accident, as the "miracles" that reinforced his Muslim faith after he had converted to Islam during his first spell in prison.