A man who admitted planning a terrorist attack in London has been jailed for life by a judge at the Old Bailey.

Edward Little, of Pelham Street, Brighton, pleaded guilty to preparation of terrorist acts, contrary to Section 5 of the Terrorism Act 2006, at a previous hearing on 19 May this year.

The Honourable Mrs Justice McGowan handed down a life sentence, ordering Little to serve a minimum of 16 years before he’s considered for release.

He will also serve a total of four years’ imprisonment to run concurrently for a charge of assault occasioning grievous bodily harm with intent. The court heard how Little was only minutes away from buying a firearm, when he was arrested on 23 September 2022 by officers from Counter Terrorism Policing South East (CTPSE).

Money seized from the arrest

The 22-year-old was intending to use this gun to carry out a terrorist attack at Speakers’ Corner in Hyde Park.

Little had identified a named target for his attack and had also made plans to shoot any police officers and soldiers present in the area at the time.

Little had been communicating with people on a messaging app and had typically expressed violent and extremist views.

As a result of CTPSE’s investigation, it was discovered that he was talking on the app about the attack he was planning discussing the weapons he was intending to buy and identifying his targets. He was intercepted, arrested and subsequently charged as part of a complex investigation which also saw three members of an organised crime group arrested, charged and jailed for their part in conspiring to sell a firearm to Little.

All were sentenced in November this year for the offence of conspiracy to transfer a firearm – you can read the full story here.

  • Reis Forde, aged 27 of HMP Rochester was sentenced to 13 years and six months
  • Caleb Wenyeve aged 21 of Bildworth Close in Nottingham was sentenced to 12 years
  • Tyler King, aged 21 of Demark Hill, Lewisham was jailed for 10 years and nine months

    Image of Edward Little

Head of CTPSE, Detective Chief Superintendent Olly Wright said:

“Little’s plan to carry out an attack was in the final stages when officers arrested him. I have no doubt that lives were saved by the actions of those officers who were deployed to arrest him.

These officers put themselves in harm’s way on that day in order to protect the public from the threat Little posed, and this is what officers across the Counter Terrorism Policing network and in forces across the UK do each and every day. It is clear from the thorough investigation carried out following Little’s arrest that he had the specific intention to carry out an attack to further his belief in an extreme Islamist ideology. Together with many partners across law enforcement and beyond, we work tirelessly to prevent and disrupt this sort of abhorrent behaviour. In this case, we not only stopped a potentially deadly attack, but also disrupted the work of an organised crime group selling a viable firearm and took that weapon and ammunition off the streets.”

At a previous hearing at Westminster Magistrates Court, Little pleaded guilty to assaulting a police officer. This was in connection with an incident where a Counter Terrorism detective from CTPSE, who was interviewing Little following his arrest, was attacked and punched in the face.

He also previously pleaded guilty to a charge of causing Grievous Bodily Harm with Intent, following an incident where a man was assaulted in Belmarsh prison by having boiling water mixed with sugar thrown over him.

DCS Wright continued:

“Our officers work around the clock to keep our communities safe from the threat of terrorism, but we need your help. We need the public to report anything suspicious, no matter how small, by calling the police or reporting online at gov.uk/ACT

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Lisa has a degree in Media & Communication from Glasgow Caledonian University and works with industry news, sifting through press releases in addition to moderating website comments.
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maurice10
maurice10
3 months ago

More and more UK police forces are being equipped with surveillance drones, which are making a significant impact on tracking criminals. How long will it be before special units will be established to shoot them down? Not that far in the future if fear and the line of responsibility will become fuzzy between the RAF and civil police. Drones are the most logical weapon of choice for terrorists due to costs and availability and like guns need to be registered. However, many guns go undetected and are obtained by illegal means, drones will be no different. I fear we will… Read more »

Dave Wolfy
Dave Wolfy
3 months ago
Reply to  maurice10

IFF for drones will be required.
Another present for Christmas.

ChrisLondon
ChrisLondon
3 months ago

I would have welcomed information on the planned target(s). I think I know but hate to have to assume.

Jon
Jon
3 months ago
Reply to  ChrisLondon

Sky News says this time it was a Christian lady who preaches at Speakers Corner.

He had already been convicted of 14 offences, incuding criminal damage, assaulting a police officer, armed robbery, drug dealing, wounding with intent, and assault with intention of causing grievous bodily harm (multiple stabbings). I think his targets were whoever was at hand.

ChrisLondon
ChrisLondon
3 months ago
Reply to  Jon

Thank you both. I am not surprised having been shocked on most recent visits to speakers corner by the amount of violent rhetoric being ignored by the Police. I would have assumed the targets were the pro-Israel speakers who get a very hard time.

farouk
farouk
3 months ago
Reply to  ChrisLondon

Don’t have to assume anything, Little converted to Islam whilst banged up and like a lot of converts decided that in order to express his fervour to his religious cohorts quite happily attacking anybody who didn’t supplicate themselves at the altar of the religion of peace. Here, his target was a female Christian preacher at Speakers corner , which these past few years has been taken over by Islamists who not only openly preach hatred but (and a big but) openly attack anybody who dare question them such as: “39 year old Hatun Tash, (A Christian woman) was stabbed by… Read more »

farouk
farouk
3 months ago
Reply to  farouk

Take note of how 5 Pillars refers to Miss Hatun Tash as:
 
1) Fundamentalist Christian preacher
2) Known for insulting the Prophet
3) Desecrating the Quran (no evidence of that what so ever)
So why do Muslims hate this woman so much? She is an Ex Muslim and that terrifies the faithful who cannot allow such a person to promote her message to the ummah, so she must be vilified and silenced. 

Joe16
Joe16
3 months ago
Reply to  farouk

I’ve got no time for that kind of “keeping the peace by the easiest route” or whatever justification the Met thought they had for taking the Christian preacher in instead of the Islamists who were harassing her. If she was doing it outside a mosque, maybe fair enough, but speaker’s corner is a platform or forum for anyone and everyone and they should have been defending that- even if it meant getting the territorial support group bussed in.

Tomartyr
Tomartyr
3 months ago
Reply to  Joe16

Sending TSG into speaker’s corner looks bad, even if it’s for a good cause, and is probably well above the pay grade of anyone there.
I don’t support it but I’m unsurprised that they didn’t feel incentivised to dump a pile of s*** on their bosses’ desk.

Last edited 3 months ago by Tomartyr
Joe16
Joe16
3 months ago
Reply to  Tomartyr

Very true- that would be a serious call to make. I was just trying to come up with what would be a robust response to protect freedom of speech.

Tim
Tim
3 months ago
Reply to  Joe16

I personally believe even outside a mosque should be ok freedom of speech should have no limits this speakers corner has been taken over by islamists

Joe16
Joe16
3 months ago
Reply to  Tim

In general I would agree with you, hence my maybe.

grizzler
grizzler
3 months ago
Reply to  Tim

As have the prisons – why do you think a lot of ex-cons become converts.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
3 months ago
Reply to  ChrisLondon

He planned to carry out a gun attack at Speakers Corner. These terrorists just hate everything about our way of life, including free speech.

farouk
farouk
3 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Graham wrote: “”He planned to carry out a gun attack at Speakers Corner. These terrorists just hate everything about our way of life, including free speech.”   Its been most illuminating since the latest bunfight between Gaza and Israel began how the pro Hamas “we demand respect “ crowd have expressed that lack of respect towards the Western subscription to democracy we hold dear, we saw just that with how they disrespected : Our war memorials Anybody who doesn’t support their cause with attacks on Jewish people,   Anybody wearing a poppy during the run up to Remembrance Day. Anybody flying… Read more »

farouk
farouk
3 months ago
Reply to  farouk

Damn predictive text:
Obvious and not oblivious 

Airborne
Airborne
3 months ago
Reply to  farouk

Spot on as normal 👍

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
3 months ago
Reply to  farouk

I agree with AB – spot on.

I also remember the abuse that our wounded soldiers in Selly Oak hospital (just spotted that it closed in 2011) received some years ago from militant Islamists.

The case for a 2-state solution is overwhelming – there really is no other option for the future – but militant Islamists will forever put it out of reach.

I suspect some agent provocateurs (not necessarily Palestinians) are initiating these protests and then making them violent – but that’s just a guess.

Jon
Jon
3 months ago

12 years for planning on selling a firearm, 16 years minimum for planning on shooting a preacher, and only 4 years for actually committing GBH and 8 months for assaulting a cop. It just feels a bit odd that planning violence carried that much higher tariff than actually committing it. The man seems unhinged and whatever it takes, I suppose.

Last edited 3 months ago by Jon
lonpfrb
lonpfrb
3 months ago
Reply to  Jon

The Sentencing Council guidelines are applied by the courts in the interests of consistency. The severity of manslaughter by firearm puts the preparation and planning (intent) in the same level. That might seem strange until you consider the benefits; after somebody is killed, no sentence would bring them back so that avoidance is preferable. However the malign intent still exists so must be punished. Thus the intent cannot be carried out and is further avoided by pubic knowledge of the consequences. I’m more concerned about the indoctrination of vulnerable people into an extremist cult, especially whilst in the care of… Read more »

Last edited 3 months ago by lonpfrb