Sally Lane and John Letts sentenced for sending money to Daesh supporting son

News, Terrorism

A married couple from Oxford have today (21 June) been found guilty of sending money to their Daesh-supporting son in Syria and sentenced to 15 months' imprisonment suspended for 12 months.

Lane and Letts
Lane and Letts

John Letts, 58, and Sally Lane, 56, were each charged with entering into a funding arrangement for the purposes of terrorism.

Their son Jack Letts, 23, was a convert to Islam and had travelled to the Middle East in 2014. He eventually went to Daesh controlled areas in Syria.

Jenny Hopkins from the CPS said: “It is natural for parents to care for their son but Sally Lane and John Letts were warned of Jack’s activities and told not to send him money or risk prosecution.

“They chose to ignore that advice.

“This case shows that people are breaking the law if they give money that could be used for terrorist purposes even if they don’t sympathise with terrorism.

“The lessons are simple: individuals should not travel to fight in war zones and those at home should not send them money.”

Their defence was that they trusted their son when he told them he was acting as a translator and a civil administrator for Daesh. They did not support Daesh, its aims or methods.

Jack Letts pictured at a dam near Raqqa, Syria, date unknown
Jack Letts pictured at a dam near Raqqa,
Syria, date unknown

The CPS Counter Terrorism Division presented evidence from witnesses and messages exchanged by Jack and his parents that showed they knew he held violent, extremist views before they sent him the money.

This included a message Jack posted on Facebook in July 2015 in response to a photo of a former school friend standing alongside other soldiers after completing a British army training course. Jack wrote: “I would love to perform a martyrdom operation in this scene”. When his father challenged him Jack said attacking the British army was praiseworthy, that he would cut off his former friend’s head and if he ever came across him in the war torn region he would shoot him dead.

John Letts and Sally Lane were warned by the police that they should not transfer money to Jack as doing so could mean they were breaking the law. They ignored the advice and in September 2015 sent him £233 via an intermediary in Lebanon nominated by Jack. Sally Lane used her real name and personal details for the transaction.

They were arrested in January 2016 and their trial at the Old Bailey began on 22 May 2019.

Notes to editors

  • John Letts (DOB 04/09/1960) and Sally Lane (DOB 14/11/1962) were each charged with three counts of entering into a funding arrangement for the purposes of terrorism, contrary to section 17 Terrorism Act 2000.
  • They were found guilty on one count, not guilty on the second and the jury failed to reach a verdict on the third count
  • Jack Lett’s date of birth is 14/11/1995
  • Jenny Hopkins is the head of the CPS Special Crime and Counter Terrorism Division.

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