Metropolitan Police photos of Ziamani (left) and Hockton

Life Sentences for Inmates Who Attacked Prison Officer in Terrorist Attack

Two prisoners at HMP Whitemoor who tried to murder a prison officer have both received life sentences following an investigation by the Metropolitan Police’s (Met) Counter Terrorism Command. 

Brusthom Ziamani, 25 and Baz Macaulay Hockton, 26 were both sentenced at the Old Bailey court on October 8.

Ziamani was also sentenced for actual bodily harm and common assault of a nurse and another officer who both came to the victim’s assistance.

The Judge decided that the offenses had a terrorist connection under section 30 of the Terrorism Act 2008, which brings a heavier sentence.

Ziamani received a life sentence with a minimum term of 21 years’ imprisonment for attempted murder of the prison officer. He also received two years for actual bodily harm against the prison nurse; and four months for common assault against another prison officer – all to run concurrently.

Hockton received a life sentence with a minimum term of 23 years’ imprisonment for attempted murder. He also received 10 years’ for a section 18 assault whilst at another prison in 2019 – all to run concurrently.

Recovered CCTV showed the pair meeting and spending several minutes talking to each other prior to their attack on January 9 this year. Other footage then showed the pair waiting in the area where they eventually carried out their attack.

Wearing imitation suicide belts they had made from wires and plastic cartons, and armed with improvised weapons, they lured a prison officer to a cupboard on the pretext of getting them a spoon. As he went to the cupboard, they pushed him to the floor. Shouting ‘Allah Hu Akbar’, they set about inflicting serious injuries on the officer, whom they intended to kill. However, both were overpowered by other prison officers who rapidly filled the area and secured them in cells.

Commander Richard Smith, head of the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command, said: “I am very pleased with today’s sentence. This was a calculated and horrific attack by two very dangerous prisoners who had one aim – to try and murder prison staff.

“We worked closely with policing colleagues and the prison service to thoroughly investigate this incident and ensured these men were put before the courts.

“Our investigation showed they were motivated to carry out this attack by their extreme ideology. As a result, the court was able to sentence them as the terrorists they are and bring heavier penalties to bear. They now face further time in prison.

“I would like to pay tribute to the outstanding professionalism and bravery of the courageous prison staff who responded to the incident. Their quick and selfless actions saved the life of their colleague that day. My thoughts are also with the other victims of this attack who also were injured during this incident.”

The prison officer who was the victim of the attack, said: “I thank those colleagues of mine who risked their lives coming to my aid on that terrible day. If it was not for their bravery and instant response, I am convinced I would not be here today.”

Judge May said that Ziamani and Hockton had been inspired by their adherence to Islamist ideology and that “the violence was short lived but shockingly and strikingly ferocious.” She also said that the attack has had very severe and long term effects on the prison officer and she commended the victims for their courage throughout the trial.

Due to the circumstances, the incident was treated as terrorism and the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command, supported by the Eastern Region Specialist Operations Unit, HMP Whitemoor and the prison service, launched a thorough investigation. Detectives recovered writings by both men, which were supportive of extremist Islamic ideology. This included a two page document written by Ziamani and carried with him during the attack expressing his expectation of immediate martyrdom, a strong belief in violent jihad support for the Islamic State group and calls for participation in suicide attacks against its enemies.

Read the announcement at Counter Terrorism Policing

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