Introduction and Facts
On 16th September 2016, Mohammed Syeedy, a 21 year old from was convicted of murdering Jalal Uddin, a 71 year old Preston imam, in what was described by the CPS as a ‘Daesh [ISIS] inspired murder’.
In February of this year Mr Syeedy, along with another (believed to be a man who is currently in Syria) launched a planned attack on Mr Uddin in a children’s playground in a park, bludgeoning him to death from behind with a hammer. The attack had been filmed, and some of the footage was found on Mr Syeedy’s phone.
The reason for this is that Mr Uddin was a practitioner of Ruqyah, some kind of spiritual healing technique. This is frowned upon by Daesh, who apparently see it as punishable by death.
Mr Syeedy was convicted after a trial.
The only sentence for murder is one of life imprisonment. The key question for the Judge is what the tariff will be – the length of time that Mr Syeedy will have to spend in prison before being able to be considered for release by the Parole Board.
*we sometimes re-write pieces when new information becomes available. Here, we got the sentence badly wrong, but we have left that below, lest we’re accused of re-writing history*
In this case, for someone aged 21 or over, where there is “a murder done for the purpose of advancing a political, religious, racial or ideological cause“, the normal starting point is a whole life tariff.
It may be that Mr Syeedy will escape that because of his age (we don’t know when he turned 21). Even if not, we would expect that because of his age and the circumstances, he will not receive a whole life tariff. But it will be a very long one, we would have guessed 35-40 years.
In fact, when Mr Syeedy was sentenced, a tariff of 24 years was set. Hopefully the Sentencing Remarks will be published so we can see how this figure was arrived at, but it seems that the Judge would have taken it as a ‘non-terrorist’ murder, but taken a starting point of 25 years because of taking the weapon to the scene.