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by John Johnston
11 April 2022
Islamic State radical found guilty of murdering MP Sir David Amess

Sir David Amess was attacked in the Southend West constituency he had served since 1997

Islamic State radical found guilty of murdering MP Sir David Amess

Sir David Amess was attacked in his constituency in October last year

A 26-year-old man has been found guilty of the murder of Conservative MP Sir David Amess, and of preparing acts of terrorism, following a trial at the Old Bailey.

Ali Harbi Ali could be handed a life sentence for the murder of Southend West MP Sir David Amess after stabbing him to death at a constituency surgery in Leigh-on-Sea in Essex last October.

The 26-year-old had denied the charges, but was convicted by the jury after a deliberation that took less than 20 minutes on Monday.

In a direction to the jury, Mr Justice Sweeney said Ali had no defence for the killing.

"Having considered the defendant's account taken at its highest in his favour, I direct you, as the judge, that the killing was neither in lawful self-defence, nor in lawful defence of another, nor in the lawful prevention of crime," he said.

"Because that is a direction in law, the prosecution are entitled to rely on it and you must follow it in your deliberations. No other defence arises."

The jury in the case heard Ali had spent years planning the attack and had researched other targets, including Michael Gove, Dominic Raab and Keir Starmer.

Amess received more than 20 stab wounds during the attack, which the court heard was "an assassination for terrorist purposes".

Prosecutor Tom Little QC told the court that Amess was the victim of a "vicious and frenzied attack".

"It was a murder carried out by a young man who for many years had been planning just such an attack and who was, and is, a committed, fanatical, radicalised Islamist terrorist," he said.

Defence barrister Tracy Ayling QC said the defendant's case was that he believed he was acting to "save lives" in Syria.

She added: "His purpose was, as he puts it now, to save lives at the expense of Sir David's but also his own."

Ali is expected to be sentenced later this week.


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