Terrorist and radicalised inmate convicted of trying to kill guard at top-security jail
Written by on 7 October 2020
A terrorist jailed for plotting an attack inspired by the murder of Fusilier Lee Rigby has been convicted of trying to kill a guard at a top-security jail.
Brusthom Ziamani, who was jailed for 22 years after he was caught with a hammer and knife en route to behead a soldier in 2014, attacked Neil Trundle with a radicalised inmate.
The pair also injured two female staff members who tried to help their colleague.
Mr Trundle said his colleagues who rushed in to help saved his life that day.
Ziamani, 25, planned the terror attack with Baz Hockton, 26, after meeting at HMP Whitemoor in Cambridgeshire.
They used makeshift bladed weapons and wore fake suicide belts when they carried out the scheme on 9 January, the Old Bailey heard.
The defendants lured Mr Trundle – described as “kind and helpful” – to a store cupboard, supposedly to get them a spoon.
They then set upon him, targeting his head, upper chest and neck areas shouting “Allahu Akbar”.
The guard was left covered in blood, with blood on the walls around him, having suffered cuts to his scalp, arm and shoulder.
Ziamani briefly broke off during the onslaught to punch nurse Jayle Cowles and prison officer Georgina Ibbotson.
When another officer approached, he opened his jacket to expose the fake suicide belt, and said: “I’ve got a bomb.”
Hockton was seen charging at another officer on graphic CCTV footage before both inmates were restrained.
One of the “suicide belts” was made of a battery and pressurised can, and the other from boxer short elastic, electrical cable and plastic bottles.
Following the verdicts, Mr Trundle, who has 14 years of experience working in prisons, said: “I thank those colleagues of mine who risked their lives coming to my aid on that terrible day.
“If it was not for their bravery and instant response, I am convinced I would not be here today.”
Reliving the attack, Mr Trundle said: “Before I knew it I was on the floor on my back.
“I did not see any weapons. I could feel blows coming down on me. I did not realise how bad the damage was to myself until I went to the hospital and looked in the mirror.”
Commander Richard Smith, head of the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command, said: “This was a calculated and horrific attack by two prisoners who had one aim – to try and murder prison staff.
Ziamani, originally from Camberwell, south London, had denied attempted murder and wounding with intent, but admitted assaulting the two women.
He claimed he wanted to be transferred because Whitemoor had become hostile to Muslims in the wake of former inmate Usman Khan’s attack at Fishmonger Hall, in which two Cambridge students died.
Hockton, originally from Dagenham, who declined to give evidence, had denied attempted murder but admitted wounding with intent.
Prosecutors said Ziamani’s plan to become a “martyr” was spelled out in handwritten notes.
Hockton, originally from Dagenham, left a note saying: “Can’t stand anything in uniform and if I see a cop on the wing I’m stick a spike in his head like a unicorn.” (sic).
The pair are due to be sentenced on Thursday.