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UPDATED POST SENTENCE: Man who plotted to murder Christian preacher in central London is jailed

|News, Terrorism

A man who planned to kill a Christian preacher at Speaker’s Corner in Hyde Park has been jailed for a minimum of 24 years.

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

Edward Little was jailed today at the Central Criminal Court

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.

Following his arrest on September 23, 2022, examination of Little’s digital devices revealed he held multiple social media accounts across different platforms using false names, including Telegram, Theema, Instagram and Snapchat.

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.

Cash in a rucksack
Cash found in a rucksack upon Little's arrest

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.

On 15 December at the Central Criminal Court, Little was sentenced to life imprisonment, with a minimum of 16 years, for preparation to commit acts of terrorism after pleading guilty in May 2023.

Following a further hearing on 4 January, Little's sentence was increased to a life sentence, with a minimum of 24 years.

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.

“The sentence today reflects the seriousness of this offending, and the CPS remains firmly committed to prosecuting all forms of terrorism in England and Wales.”

A revolver
The gun intended for Little

Detective Chief Superintendent Olly Wright, Head of CTPSE, said: “Little’s plan to carry out an attack was in the final stages when officers arrested him.

“I have no doubt that lives were saved by the actions of those officers who were deployed to arrest him.

“These officers put themselves in harm's way on that day in order to protect the public from the threat Little posed, and this is what officers across the Counter Terrorism Policing network and in forces across the UK do each and every day.

“It is clear from the thorough investigation carried out following Little’s arrest that he had the specific intention to carry out an attack to further his belief in an extreme Islamist ideology.

“Together with many partners across law enforcement and beyond, we work tirelessly to prevent and disrupt this sort of abhorrent behaviour.

“In this case, we not only stopped a potentially deadly attack, but also disrupted the work of an organised crime group selling viable firearms and took that weapon and ammunition off the streets.”

Notes to editors

  • Edward Little, (DOB: 11/06/01), is of Brighton, east Sussex
  • He pleaded guilty to one offence of preparation to commit acts of terrorism, contrary to section 5(1)(a) of the Terrorism Act 2006, on 19 May 2023
  • Little received a life sentence, with a minimum of 16 years, on 15 December 2023 at the Central Criminal Court. His term was increased to a life sentence, with a minimum of 24 years on 4 January 2024 following a slip rule hearing. 
  • The Counter Terrorism Division is responsible for prosecuting all terrorism crimes and terrorist related offences in England and Wales
  • Three members of an organised crime group were jailed in November for their part in conspiring to transfer a firearm to Little:
    • Reis Forde, 27, of HMP Rochester, was sentenced to 13 years and six months’ imprisonment.
    • Caleb Wenyeve, 21, of Bildworth Close, Nottingham, was sentenced to 12 years’ imprisonment.
    • Tyler King, 21, of Demark Hill, Lewisham, was jailed for 10 years and nine months’ imprisonment.  

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