Muslim Convert Who Plotted to Kill Christian Preacher at Speakers’ Corner Has Sentence Increased

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Edward Little, who arranged to buy a gun to kill Hatun Tash, a Christian convert, has had his minimum term in prison increased from 16 to 24 years.

A Muslim convert who plotted to mount an attack on controversial and well-known Christian preacher Hatun Tash at Speakers’ Corner has had his jail term increased.

Edward Little, 22, had negotiated with three gangsters to buy a gun and had also considered launching an attack on the Queen’s funeral on Sept. 19, 2022, after converting to Islam while in prison.

Little decided he was “too late” and instead targeted Ms. Tash, a former Muslim, who regularly debates Islam and the Quran at Speakers’ Corner.

Last month Little was jailed for life and given a minimum tariff of 16 years but on Thursday his term was increased to 24 years.

Resentenced Under ‘Slip Rule’

The hearing was held under the Section 155 of the Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000, which is known as the “slip rule,” which allows judges to re-sentence if fresh information comes to light.

The act says, “a sentence imposed … by the crown court when dealing with an offender may be varied or rescinded by the crown court within the period of 28 days beginning with the day on which the sentence … was imposed.”

Sentencing him last month, Judge Maura McGowan said, “Speakers’ Corner is a popular destination and a tourist attraction and any attack there would risk the lives of many people of all faiths from around the world and would strike terror.”

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At one point, he wrote: “I don’t think there has been an attack in the UK with guns so a semi-automatic rifle would send an even stronger message.”

It is not clear what the new information is which Judge McGowan was made aware of since the Dec. 15 hearing, which heard Little had travelled in a taxi from Brighton to London with £5,000 to buy a firearm and bullets when he was arrested on Sept. 23 2022.

Little pleaded guilty to preparing acts of terrorism in May last year, and refused to come to the Old Bailey for his sentencing.

Three members of a crime gang were also jailed for conspiring to provide Little with the gun, although they did not know what it was for.

Little settled on the plan after rejecting the idea of a gun attack on the late Queen’s funeral in Westminster.

Converted to Islam While in Prison

Previously, the court heard how UK-born Little, who lived in Brighton, converted to Islam at Cookham Wood Young Offender Institution in Kent and at HMP Deerbolt in County Durham, after he turned 18.

He downloaded extremist propaganda, including copies of the al-Qaida publication Inspire, in the summer of 2022, and spoke of his desire to get hold of a Mac-10 submachine gun and AK-47 assault rifle in encrypted chats on the Threema messaging platform.

Little agreed to pay a taxi driver £300 to take him from Brighton to Lewisham, south London, on Sept. 23 2022, saying money was no problem.

The plan was scuppered when armed police moved in to arrest him in south London.

Prosecutor Duncan Penny, KC, said Little planned to kill Ms. Tash, at Speaker’s Corner in Hyde Park, anyone with her, as well as any police officers or soldiers in the area.

Hatun Tash in an undated file photo. (Courtesy of Hatun Tash/Christian Concern)
Hatun Tash in an undated file photo. (Courtesy of Hatun Tash/Christian Concern)

She said Little was clearly intent on violence and had said he “wanted to emulate” the attackers who murdered soldier Lee Rigby in a street near Woolwich Barracks in 2013.

On Sept. 23, he was arrested en route from his home in Brighton to London where he was planning to pick up a gun for £5,000 and then use it on Ms. Tash, who often wears a Charlie Hebdo Prophet Muhammad T-shirt, which has enraged Islamists like Little.

Ironically in Oct. 2022 Ms. Tash, the director of the ministry Defend Christ Critique Islam, won £10,000 in damages from the Metropolitan Police after they wrongfully arrested her after she was abused by Islamists.

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