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Nick de la Poer KC and Matthew Donkin in prosecution of planned terrorist attack on mosques

13/11/2023

On 10 November 2023 Joe Metcalfe was sentenced to an extended sentence of 14 years 32 months and 4 days in relation to terrorism offences, rape and other offences.

The sentencing hearing followed three trials involving the defendant.

In the Spring of this year, over a number of weeks Nicholas de la Poer KC and Matthew Donkin prosecuted the defendant for an offence of preparing for terrorists acts. The allegation was that the defendant planned to carry out a terrorist act at mosques in Keighley which involved the killing of many worshippers. Over many months the defendant immersed himself in extreme right-wing ideology, researched clothing and equipment for his attack, tried to obtain firearms, and carried out hostile reconnaissance of a mosque. The defendant was found guilty by the jury.

In the summer of this year Nick prosecuted the defendant for offences of rape and coercive and controlling behaviour in the Youth Court. The defendant was convicted of five occasions of rape and of the coercive and controlling behaviour. He appealed to the Crown Court.

In the early autumn of this year Nick prosecuted the defendant in relation to the Youth Court matters in the Appeal to the Crown Court. The defendant was again convicted.

There were a number of significant features to the case:

  • Both the defendant and an important witness were 15 years old at the time.
  • The procedure under s.28 of the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999 was used as part of a pilot program in the Youth Court.
  • Some of the material relied upon by the prosecution was obtained from abroad under the ILOR process.
  • There was input from two psychiatrists and a psychologist which required careful management.
  • An expert in extreme right-wing ideology was called by the prosecution.
  • The defendant regarded the terrorist Brenton Tarrant as a hero and the case involved a substantial exploration of the atrocity Brenton Tarrant carried out in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Passing sentence, Mrs Justice Cheema-Grubb found the defendant to poses a significant risk of committing further serious offences.

Nick and Matthew were instructed by Birgitte Hagem and  Lee Ingham of the CPS Counter-Terrorism Division.

Media reports of the case can be found at:

Authors

Nicholas de la Poer KC

Call 2003 | Silk 2020

Matthew Donkin

Call 2004

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