Islamic extremist jailed for life for trying to murder  prison officer

Islamic extremist is jailed for life for trying to murder a prison officer with a ‘shank’ while wearing a fake suicide vest at HMP Whitemoor while serving 22-year sentence for plotting Lee Rigby-style terror attack

  • Brusthom Ziamani and Baz Hockton have both been sentenced to life today  
  • Ziamani, 25, caught with a hammer and knife en route to behead a soldier 
  • While held at HMP Whitemoor, Ziamani befriended radicalised Hockton, 26 
  • Pair attacked prison officer with makeshift weapons, wearing fake suicide belts
  • Hockton has also been handed a life sentence with a minimum term of 23 years

Two Islamic extremists who tried to murder a prison guard have both been sentenced to life after trying to murder a prison officer in a terror attack behind bars.

Brusthom Ziamani, 25, is five years into a 19-year sentence for a 2014 plot to behead a soldier inspired by the murder of Fusilier Lee Rigby.

He and Muslim convert Baz Hockton, 26, who was radicalised in jail, screamed ‘Allahu Akbar’ and wore hoax bomb vests as they set upon Prison Officer Neil Trundle with a shank on January 9.

They lured the officer into a cupboard space off-limits to prisoners at maximum-security HMP Whitemoor by asking him to fetch them a spoon before attacking him with makeshift weapons.

Ziamani charged at staff when they intervened to help their colleague, revealing his fake suicide vest as he told them: ‘I have a bomb.’

He also assaulted female prison officer Georgina Ibbotson and nurse Jane Cowles in the rampage. 

Both inmates were found in possession of Islamic extremist writings when their cells were searched after the brutal murder bid.

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 was jailed for 22 years in 2015 for planning a copycat terror attack inspired by the murder of fusilier Lee Rigby.

He had researched cadet bases in south London online and penning extremist posts on social media platforms. 

Hockton has also been handed a life sentence with a minimum term of 23 years. Mrs Justice May said she was satisfied he was ‘inspired by extremist beliefs’ and had a ‘terrorist connection’.


Brusthom Ziamani (left), 25, is five years into a 19-year sentence for a 2014 plot to behead a soldier inspired by the murder of Fusilier Lee Rigby. He and Muslim convert Baz Hockton (right), 26, who was radicalised in jail, screamed ‘Allahu Akbar’ and wore hoax bomb vests as they set upon Prison Officer Neil Trundle with a shank on January 9 

They lured the officer into a cupboard space off-limits to prisoners at maximum-security HMP Whitemoor by asking him to fetch them a spoon before attacking him with makeshift weapons

She told him: ‘Your current twisted view of Islam needs to change.’

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.

While serving his sentence Ziamani 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.’

Mrs Justice May told Ziamani: ‘In the event the violence against him was short lived but it was still shockingly violent whilst it continued.

‘Nothing has changed as these current circumstances demonstrate, you adhere to an extremist ideology which continues to persist, you were eight months into a programme to address such beliefs.

‘The attack has had very serious effects, I commend him for coming to court and facing you and giving his account.

‘The offences were inspired by extremist islam and inspired by terrorist motivations. This was a planned terrorist offence.

CCTV footage shown during the trial showed Ziamani and Hockton following PO Trundle as he walked towards the store cupboard before attacking him

‘Had these offence stood alone the sentence would have been one of 36 years. Were it not for the fact that you are already serving an indeterminate sentence.

‘Five years into a 19-year term in extended sentence for unrelated, your minimum term must reflect that.

‘The minimum term is 21 years, it must be served in full before you are eligible to be considered for release.’

Hockton, who has a long history of violence and possessing bladed articles, is three years into a 12-year jail term for stabbing and punching a man in October 2016 and slashing another the following month.

He was also sentenced to a concurrent 10-year term for wounding a prisoner with intent to cause grievous bodily harm at Swaleside prison, on the Isle of Sheppey in Kent, in April last year.

The court heard how he slashed victim Tristan Walker with a weapon that was never recovered, leaving his victim with a scar. 

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

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

Hockton 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.

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**t’ during a run-in with a guard.

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

But an Old Bailey jury had 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.

Prosecutor Annabel Darlow QC, who also secured Ziamani’s conviction in 2015, told jurors: ‘They committed the attack for terrorist purposes.

‘When another officer tried to intervene Mr Ziamani opened his jacket, underneath his jacket he was wearing a hoax suicide belt as was Mr Hockton.

‘As he opened up his jacket he told the prison officers ‘I’ve got a bomb.’

‘Both men strenuously and forcefully resisted all efforts to restrain and after the attack Mr Ziamani attempted to barricade himself in his cell.

‘It’s the prosecution’s case that the defendants were motivated to commit the attack by extremist Islamic ideology. It was a terrorist attack.

‘Neil Trundle had been a prison officer for over 14 years at the time of the attack. He had been working on A Wing since April 2019 and through his role knew both Ziamani and Hockton.

‘He had no negative dealings with either man before the attack and there is no known reason for either man to have attacked PO Trundle based upon personal history.

‘He was known as a notably kind and helpful officer.’

Ms Darlow added: ‘It is clear from the ideological material that the underlying belief was that they had a duty to carry out jihad – jihad of course having a safer meaning to millions – but the twisted ideology has come to mean quite simply killing agents of the British state.

‘The kuffar (non-believers), as we’ve seen in the writings, are repeatedly vilified as beings who are there really to be defeated, terrorised.

‘In order to carry out jihad by attacking and killing as we say they planned to do an officer of the British state, if they succeeded they would accomplish their mission of what they regarded as holy jihad.

‘What we’ve seen throughout this case we suggest is these defendants in the material they’ve written and looked at in their cells is they’ve taken small fragments, tiny fragments of one of the world’s oldest religions, Islam, and twisted and corrupted them into something that suits their corrupted purposes.’

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

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