Islamic extremists found guilty of attempting to murder prison officer
7th October 2020

Islamic extremist serving 22-year jail term for plotting Lee Rigby style terror attack and Muslim convert are found guilty of attempting to murder prison officer with ‘shank’ while wearing fake suicide vests at HMP Whitemoor

  • Convicted terrorist Bruthom Ziamani, 25, and Baz Hockton, 26, found guilty 
  • They lured prison officer Neil Trundle to a cupboard before attacking him 
  • Ziamani charged at staff and revealed his fake bomb vest  when they intervened
  • He was convicted of plotting to behead a British Army officer in 2015  

An Islamic extremist has been convicted of trying to murder a prison guard while serving a 22-year sentence for plotting to behead a British soldier in a Lee Rigby-style terror attack. 

Convicted terrorist Brusthom Ziamani, 25, and fellow inmate Baz Hockton, 26, have been found guilty at the Old Bailey of attempting to murder a prison officer in an Islamic terrorist attack at top security Whitemoor jail in Cambridgeshire on January 9.

The inmates lured Prison Officer (PO) Neil Trundle towards a cupboard before attacking him while wearing hoax suicide vests at HMP Whitemoor in Cambridgeshire.  

Ziamani charged at staff, revealing his fake bomb vest to them when they intervened to help their colleague, the Old Bailey heard.  

Convicted terrorist Brusthom Ziamani (right), 25, and fellow inmate Baz Hockton (left), 26, have been convicted at the Old Bailey of attempting to murder a prison officer in an Islamic terrorist attack at top security Whitemoor jail in Cambridgeshire on January 9

He also assaulted female prison officer Georgina Ibbotson and nurse Jane Cowles when they intervened to help their colleague, jurors heard.

Both vests were created using elastic from a pair of underwear, bottles, batteries and pressurised cans, the court was told. 

Both inmates were found to have been hoarding writings on Islamic extremist ideology after the brutal violence.

The pair used lumps of twisted metal, makeshift stabbing instruments and a homemade shank, leaving PO Trundle covered in blood with slash wounds to his neck, chest and arms. 

Ziamani, who was convicted of plotting to behead a British Army officer in 2015, wanted to murder ‘agents of the British state.’

The aftermath of the alleged attack showed Mr Trundle on the floor nursing serious head wounds as staff gathered around him

The extremist believed that in doing so he would achieve ‘holy jihad’ and kept texts in his cell which vilified non-believers.

CCTV footage shown during the trial showed Ziamani and Hockton following PO Trundle as he walked towards the store cupboard on January 9.  

The alarm was sounded in the prison and PO Georgina Ibbotson was one of the first on the scene. She said she tried to calm Ziamani but he punched her in the face so hard she sank to her knees and thought she was dying. 

PO Ibbotson managed to stagger to her feet and felt the blood dripping down her skin as she hid inside a storeroom cupboard. 

Giving evidence, Mr Trundle said he had never had any problems with Ziamani before. He said: ‘There had been no confrontation or cross words, no indication that there was going to be any issues between us’

Both suspects were pinned down by officers after an emergency alarm was sounded in the building following the attack

Ms Ibbotson said she never had any trouble with Ziamani before, adding that he spent a lot of time with Hockton ‘one to one’.

Mr Trundle was left covered in blood from multiple cuts after Ziamani asked him if he could replace a broken spoon.   

The prison officer went to unlock a store cupboard, followed by the defendants. 

Giving evidence, Mr Trundle said he had never had any problems with Ziamani before.

He said: ‘There had been no confrontation or cross words, no indication that there was going to be any issues between us.  

As he approached the store cupboard he could see one of the men ‘in my peripheral view’. 

Jurors were shown CCTV footage of the incident, which was briefly interrupted when two female staff members attempted to intervene and were assaulted by Ziamani. Pictured, Whitemoor high-security prison in Cambridgeshire

He added: ‘Before I knew it I was on the floor on my back. I wasn’t sure how I ended up on the floor. I did not know what position I was in but I was on the floor and I was being attacked.’ 

Mr Trundle, who has been a prison officer for more than 14 years, said he raised his arms to protect his face and called for help.  

Jurors were shown CCTV footage of the incident, which was briefly interrupted when two female staff members attempted to intervene and were assaulted by Ziamani.  

Ms Ibbotson said Ziamani had also asked her to fetch a spoon from the store cupboard which gave her a ‘gut feeling’.

A handout photo from CCTV showing the aftermath of the alleged attack by Ziamani and Hockton on the prison guard at Whitemoor jail in Cambridgeshire

She said: ‘It just made me feel uncomfortable – it made me feel like it was something I did not want to do.’

Ziamani told staff he had a bomb when they intervened to help their colleague, the Old Bailey heard.

Both inmates were found to have been hoarding writings on Islamic extremist ideology after the brutal violence, it was said.

Ziamani was carrying a four-page handwritten letter detailing his fanatical beliefs, the court heard.

The pair allegedly used lumps of twisted metal, makeshift stabbing instruments and a homemade shank in a ‘carefully planned’ attack.

Ziamani was serving a sentence for plotting to murder a British Army officer at the time of the attack. 

He was arrested on his way to behead a British soldier in July 2014, after researching cadet bases in south London online and penning extremist posts on social media platforms.

A handout photo from CCTV showing the moments before the attack on the prison guard. Ziamani and Hockton denied attempted murder of Mr Trundle during a trial at the Old Bailey

Ziamani, then 19, wanted to emulate his heroes Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale by decapitating a member of the armed forces and posing for a photograph with the severed head.

His mission was foiled when an anti-terrorist officer spotted him in the street in east London with a 12-inch knife and a black Islamic flag and he was convicted of preparing a terrorist act.

But the fanatic was undeterred by his sentence of 22 years behind bars, and instead became intent on killing any ‘agent of the British state.’

He continued writing jihadist texts and reading ISIS propaganda in his cell, calling on readers to ‘slay kuffar’ (non-believers) and ‘march to death with confidence.’

At Whitemoor, Ziamani gradually befriended Hockton – who converted to Islam before becoming radicalised during his time in the maximum-security jail.

The violent 26-year-old had been imprisoned for knifing a man with a meat cleaver over a minor argument in October 2016.

He was previously jailed for a second assault after terrorising members of the public as they walked past a KFC in Ramsgate, Kent, slashing one in the cheek and fighting another.

The aftermath of the alleged attack in Cambridgeshire. Ziamani alone has admitted two counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm against Georgina Ibbotson and Jane Cowles

When a brave woman intervened, Hockton repeatedly punched her in the face.

He refused to give evidence during the trial, while Ziamani claimed the prison attack was fuelled by incidents of religious discrimination he had suffered at the hands of HMP Whitemoor staff.

The terrorist claimed that officers had mocked his qamis – traditional Muslim robes.

‘They would say lift up your dress and give us a twirl,’ Ziamani said.

He insisted the assault on PO Trundle had been spontaneous and provoked by institutional racism, claiming another prisoner had been called a ‘black c***’ during a run-in with a guard.

But an Old Bailey jury today unanimously convicted them both of attempted murder – accepting the prosecution case that the murder plot had been carefully planned.

The pair had taken elements of mainstream Islam and ‘twisted and corrupted’ it to suit their bloodthirsty agenda, amassing materials over time with which to create their fake bomb vests. 

Ziamani, formerly of Camberwell, southeast London, and Hockton, formerly of Wellington Crescent, Ramsgate, both denied but were convicted of attempted murder.

Hockton had admitted a lesser alternative of wounding PO Trundle with intent.

Ziamani alone also admitted two counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm against Ms Ibbotson and Ms Cowles.

They will return for sentence on a date to be fixed.

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