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HomeCourtsJudge sentences terror-plotting 19-year-old to life for preparing acts of terrorism

Judge sentences terror-plotting 19-year-old to life for preparing acts of terrorism

Matthew King, 19, who has admitted to plotting attacks on British police and soldiers, has been sentenced to life today with a minimum of six years in prison. Sentencing was reported live by Sky News.

Matthew King will serve a discretionary life sentence of a minimum of six years, minus the 367 days he spent on remand.

King pleaded guilty in January to the preparation of terrorist attacks between 22 December 2021 and 17 May 2022.

Sentencing him on Friday, Judge Mark Lucraft KC said: “When it comes to the minimum term that you will serve, I make it plain that I am not ordering that you are to be released at the end of it.

“Whether you will be released or not at that stage or at any later stage will be a matter for the parole board to consider only when the minimum term has been served.”

Judge Lucraft warned King that if he was released he would remain on licence and liable to recall for the rest of his life: “In my judgement you are someone where there is a significant risk to members of the public or serious harm.

Mother’s concerns thwarted teen’s terror plot against police and soldiers

He was put under surveillance after his mother reported him to the government’s anti-extremism agency Prevent, because she feared some of the videos he was watching promoted hatred.

Several of the mosques he attended also warned him about his behaviour, and one decided he was no longer welcome.

In 2022, in the weeks before his arrest, King began carrying out reconnaissance in east London, including on police officers patrolling outside Stratford railway station, as well as at Stratford police station itself and the local magistrates’ court.

One of the videos found on his phone featured footage near the police station, overlaid with a soundtrack including the words: “Coldly kill them with hate and rage. Plan your perfect killing spree.”

CCTV showed King filming outside an east London barracks

On 17 May 2022, a CCTV camera captured him filming after dark outside a 7 Rifles Army barracks in east London.

He was arrested at his home the following day and his phone examined.

He was “training for Jihad”

Officers found Snapchat messages King sent to a girl who was still in the sixth form, known in court as Miss A, in which he said he wanted to travel to Syria to become a martyr.

They exchanged messages about how they would like to mutilate members of the British and American armed forces.

Miss A wrote to him: “We can’t let them die quick tho. Slow painful death akhi… I’ll guide you through it. Or bring him or her home.”

King’s sentencing was delayed previously following his threats of “beheading the imam”.

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