White Muslim convert defies judge as he is jailed for terror offences

When ordered to stand, he refused saying 'I don't wish to stand up because I believe ruling and judgement is only for Allah'

Richard Dart, the middle class boy from Dorset who turned into an Islamic extremist, remained defiant to the bitter end as a judge gave him an extended jail sentence for being a dangerous terrorist today.

The 30-year-old son of teachers from Weymouth, who shocked his family when he became a militant Muslim, sat in the dock, clad in a skull cap and traditional dress, as he was sentenced after pleading guilty to preparing for acts of terrorism.

When ordered to rise by Mr Justice Simon, he refused, proclaiming: "I don't wish to stand up because I believe ruling and judgement is only for Allah.". As he was led away to start a sentence of 11 years, he nodded to a lone Islamic young man in the public gallery, his family nowhere to be seen.

Dart, the Old Bailey heard, had talked of terror attacks in the UK, of wreaking devastation on Wootton Bassett, a town that for many years gathered to honour the funeral corteges of dead soldiers, or MI5 and MI6 targets. He travelled to Pakistan, carrying thousands of pounds to pay for training with the local Taliban, a militant group known for mass suicide attacks on civilians, but failed and was forced to return to the UK.

His defence was that civilians were not his target, instead he had wanted to fight Nato soldiers in Afghanistan.

Today Dart, a former BBC security guard from Ealing, and his two fellow accomplices were jailed for a total of more than 20 years after each one admitted engaging in conduct in preparation of acts of terrorism between July 2010 and July 2012.

The judge told Dart and Mahmood: "I'm satisfied to the required criminal standard that neither of you had ruled out an attack in the United Kingdom, and that you, Mahmood, were looking at arming yourself with a bomb."

"It clear that you are all committed fundamentalists whose ultimate intent was to commit acts of terrorism," he added.

Mr Justice Simon said that both Dart and fellow Brit Imran Mahmood, 22, were dangerous characters and, as such, would receive extended sentences, for which they would not be considered for parole for at least two thirds of their term and then be released under a strict licence. Dart received six year custodial sentence with a five-year licence while Mahmood, of Northolt, was told he would serve nine years nine months in custody with a five-year licence.

Jahangir Alom, 26, a failed police community support officer and territorial army soldier from Stratford, London, who travelled with Dart to Pakistan on their unsuccessful attempt to seek terror training was jailed for four years and six months.

Mark Topping, specialist counter-terrorism lawyer for the Crown Prosecution Service, said: "When Richard Dart, Jahangir Alom and Imran Mahmood were making plans for two of them, Dart and Alom, to fly to Pakistan, they did not expect those travels to lead them to the dock at the Old Bailey and jail.

"But this case serves as another reminder that those who take steps to travel abroad for the purposes of preparing for terrorism can and will be prosecuted here in the UK.

"Although the men did not identify any specific targets for an attack, their determination and intent were very clear.

"The training that Dart and Alom sought, and which Mahmood attempted to assist with, would have taught Dart and Alom the skills and techniques necessary to commit acts of terrorism both aboard and in the United Kingdom.

"Mahmood had already undertaken training and was already asking Dart for help in locating a book that would allow him to make home-made explosives.

"This was a prosecution that was based on the most high-tech and sophisticated evidence gathering available.

"These state of the art techniques not only left the defendants little choice but to plead guilty but also increasingly restrict the ability of terrorists to hide their intentions from the authorities."

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
SPONSORED FEATURES
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones