Sunday 23 October 2016

Police officer who made hoax call to own force has jail term increased by two years

Published 29/09/2016 | 18:21

Police officer stock photo
Police officer stock photo

A police officer who sparked a nationwide terror alert by making a hoax 999 call to his own force has seen his jail term increased by two years.

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Pc Amar Tasaddiq Hussain was given a seven-year sentence at Stafford Crown Court in May but has now been jailed for nine years after the Attorney General referred his case to the Court of Appeal.

Attorney General Jeremy Wright QC referred all three defendants' sentences as being unduly lenient and said he was pleased with the stiffer sentence.

Hussain, then serving with West Midlands Police, sent his force into "overdrive" in 2014 by phoning through an anonymous warning that a terrorist with links to Syria was planning to kidnap a Muslim policeman.

Two other Birmingham men, Adil Bashir and Mohammed Ali Sheikh, were originally jailed for three years after being convicted of conspiring to pervert the course of justice.

The men's trial was told they hoped the 999 call on December 8 2014 would discredit an official at an Islamic community group they were members of.

Hussain, 30, who is no longer a policeman, unemployed Bashir, 26, and 31-year-old tutor Sheikh were all convicted of two counts of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

Jurors heard the conspiracy prompted police commanders to put a hostage negotiator on standby and order substantial inquiries into the supposed terror plot.

During the 24-hour alert, which only ended with the arrest of an innocent man, armed police units were deployed to the home of an off-duty officer who did not answer an emergency roll-call.

Bashir and Sheikh have both had their punishments upped to five years in jail.

"This hoax sparked a huge police response, coming at a time when the national terrorism threat level was severe," said Mr Wright, after the Court of Appeal hearing.

"It had a negative effect on all West Midlands employees and their families, causing a great deal of fear and anxiety."

He added: "I'm pleased the court has agreed this trio should spend longer in prison for their actions."

West Midlands Police Assistant Chief Constable Marcus Beale said: "The actions of Amar Tasaddiq Hussain and others were absolutely deplorable.

"I welcome these extended sentences."

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