A former spy who says he carried out a killing while mentally disturbed by his job was intimidated by the presence of MI5 officers at his trial.
The man, a British Muslim who cannot not be identified, pleaded guilty in 2012 to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility because of post-traumatic stress disorder.
The judge accepted he had the condition, but he was convicted of murder and jailed for 19 years.
A legal document outlining grounds for his appeal has emerged.
It says his evidence was undermined by the “intimidating presence” of two MI5 officers in the courtroom. One was his former handler.
They were positioned behind the prosecuting counsel, directly in his line of sight, when he spoke in court, the document says. It adds, “It is not difficult to see how this may have affected him psychiatrically and caused impact upon his evidence.”
The man was said by his QC to have served Britain in a significant way. He had spied for MI5 on university students and worshippers at his mosque.
“They were paying me. Money was never a problem,” he said. “I was given tasks every week. I mainly targeted mosques in my local area. I’d make friends with people and join meetings.
“I would gather names, addresses and mobile numbers and pass them on.
He said he had developed PTSD after infiltrating Al-Qaida on the orders of MI5 and MI6. Going undercover in Pakistan and Egypt, he said, had left him mentally disturbed.
He was at one point arrested by Pakistan intelligence. He said “I was beaten every day for over a month. I lost teeth and had my toenails pulled out by pliers.”
The killing he committed was not apparently connected to his work for British intelligence. But the details are a secret.
Make and drone the Raytheon way in Fife
Weapons of mass destruction maker Raytheon is teaching schoolchildren how to build drones. Apparently this is to encourage them to pursue a career in science and the aerospace industry.
The US firm is working with Fife council to expand its “quadcopter challenge”.
It provides drone-making equipment, sends industry ambassadors to schools and offers site visits and work experience to pupils at its biggest facility in Glenrothes.
Speaking at a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) Conference in Edinburgh, Raytheon’s Sinead O’Donnell said, “The Raytheon UK quadcopter challenge provides students in each school with the opportunity to participate in a STEM based engineering challenge.
“They have the opportunity to build a fully operational, four bladed, multi-rotor, unmanned air system—or drone.”
Whether the company provide the corpses is unclear.
Lord Peter Mandelson has a good reason to sing the praises of the EU. EU rules say that his rather hefty pension is dependent on observing a “duty of loyalty” to the project even after leaving his post.
Taking a brief moment of time off from try to organise a coup against Jeremy Corbyn, he told a German paper, “Forget Great Britain: take care of your own interests”.
Ukip were hoping to take their third seat in the five member north ward of Haverhill Town Council in a by-election.
Instead their hopeful has been automatically disqualified because they filled out the registration form incorrectly. They invalidated their form by writing Ukip, rather than the party’s full name.
Trump’s secret golf cart costs mount up
The US Secret Service has spent more than £27,000 on golf cart rentals at president Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort since his inauguration.
Purchase orders show £27,953 in costs for renting golf carts during Trump’s frequent visits to Palm Beach.
Trump has played several rounds of golf at his clubs, including in Florida and Virginia.
They have cost more than £15 million.
Florida restaurant inspectors found potentially dangerous raw fish in two broken down fridges at Mar-a-Lago.
Inspectors found 13 violations at the fancy club’s kitchen. The club charges £160,000 in joining fees.
Three of the violations were deemed “high priority,” meaning that they could allow the presence of illness-causing bacteria on plates served in the dining room.
Coporals need punishment
Sam Kiley, the foreign affairs editor of Sky News, wrote a blog “Thin-skinned Millennials need a spanking”.
He said, “These days, the public schools can no more produce the sort of chap capable of running a large chunk of Africa at 21 with the assistance only of supernatural self?belief, and a passion for Ovid, than they can turn out a youngster capable of putting a kettle on without the supervision of a Filipina.”
His unsurprising solution apart from six of the best is a return of “national service”.
The number of playgrounds slides
hundreds of playgrounds have shut since the Tories took office.
Hundreds more are earmarked for closure before the next election.
Spending on parks has been cut by 92 percent.
A report from the Association of Play Industries who make their cash out of building playgrounds is damning
- 1 in 3 councils had to remove play facilities between 2010 and 2014
- 214 playgrounds were closed by 65 local authorities between 2014 and 2016
- 234 playgrounds are earmarked for closure by 60 local authorities between 2016 and 2019.
KNOW YOUR ENEMY: Kelvin MacKenzie
The Sun columnist and former editor MacKenzie has been suspended after a racist rant about Everton footballer Ross Barkley.
He wrote the Sun front page “The Truth” in 1989, which smeared Liverpool football fans after the Hillsborough disaster.
The Guardian newspaper describes him as from “working class stock”. He went to the private Alleyn’s School—£16,000 a year.
The things they say
‘Our message to meddling leaders of Spain and the EU … UP YOURS SENORS’
The Sun newspaper
‘Footage has emerged showing some supporters chanting ‘you Spanish b*******, Gibraltar is ours’
Also The Sun newspaper. They didn’t see any link
‘We have to work with evil people’
Former Tory minister Malcom Rifkind explains why it is right to bomb things and why Britain should work with Syrian dictator Assad
‘The French National Front is tougher on anti-semitism than the British Labour Party’
Observer newspaper columnist Nick Cohen continues his fight to save the Labour Party from itself
‘I have asked that people do not vote for me’
Labour Scarborough council candidate Sean Rowel calls on people not to vote for him after Labour stand two candidates in a one seat ward