Man who plotted to murder Christian preacher in central London is jailed

A man who planned to kill a Christian preacher at Speaker’s Corner in Hyde Park has been jailed for a minimum of 16 years.

Edward Little, 22, conducted research into firearms, the location of the planned attack, and his intended target.

He also made arrangements to purchase a firearm before being arrested by police en route from his home in Brighton to London to buy the weapon.

Between 27 July and 7 August 2022, Little downloaded extremist Islamic material and the day before his arrest viewed YouTube videos primarily concerned with firearms and Jihad.

On September 28, 2022, while Little was being interviewed, he attacked a police officer after launching himself from his chair over the table. He pleaded guilty to assaulting an emergency worker and was sentenced eight months’ imprisonment.

Today at the Central Criminal Court, he was sentenced to life imprisonment, with a minimum of 16 years, for preparation to commit acts of terrorism after pleading guilty in May 2023.

The prosecution followed an investigation by Counter Terrorism Policing South East (CTPSE).

Nick Price, head of the CPS Special Crime and Counter Terrorism Division, said: “There can be little doubt as to what Edward Little’s intentions were on that day.

“He had conducted research on the location and his target and made arrangements to buy a gun. It was clear he intended to commit murder. Had it not been for his arrest, he would have been able to secure that firearm and carry out the attack, which would have likely caused multiple deaths…”

Edward Little, 22, had targeted a Christian preacher who regularly appeared at Speaker’s Corner but could have killed anyone who got in his way, police said.

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

On Friday, Little refused to come to Court One of the Old Bailey for his sentencing which continued without him.

In a televised hearing, (I didn’t realise it was being televised; I have been Christmas cleaning much of the day)  Mrs Justice McGowan jailed Little for life with a minimum term of 16 years. She said an attack at Speaker’s Corner would have risked the lives of many people had Little not been stopped.

She said: “That part of the park is famous for its tradition of free speech. Edward Little believed an attack there would send a strong message. . . You wanted to emulate what the murderers of Lee Rigby had done. You regretted that your preparations were too late to carry out an attack on the state funeral.”

The judge found Little’s attack plan was “viable” and he posed a future danger to members of the public.

In his chats on Threema, Little referred to the well-known preacher who regularly debates Islam as an “evil witch” and said he could shoot her “point blank” and “everyone with her”.

On September 18 last year, Little identified the Queen’s funeral – due to be held at Westminster Abbey the following day – as a possible alternative target. It was suggested that “tyrants of the earth” would be there, to which Little responded: “I was just thinking that but unfortunately it’s too late.”

Little declined to answer questions in police interviews but his mood changed when he was shown a YouTube view of the preacher. He launched himself from his chair across the table at an officer, swinging repeatedly with his fists before being restrained.

He went on to admit assaulting the officer at Newbury Police Station last September 28 and was sentenced to eight months in prison.

Little had also pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm with intent to a fellow inmate at Belmarsh prison on April 3. He attacked the victim with boiling water mixed with sugar and two razor blades for “disrespecting” his religion.

Mrs Justice McGowan jailed Little for four years for that offence to run concurrently with his life sentence.

He’s a nasty piece of work and no mistake.


2 Responses

  1. Will he be marinated in feral pig manure or will our delicate civilized sensibilities be offended?
    Would such a soaking or suffocation be a deterrant to murder planners?

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