Suspended sentence following mixed verdicts for parents of ‘Jihadi Jack’

Tim Moloney QC and Richard Thomas were instructed by ITN Solicitors to represent Sally Lane who, along with her husband, John Letts, sent money to their son who had travelled to Syria and who had been dubbed “Jihadi Jack” by the media.

Jack Letts is currently detained in Kurdish controlled Syria and his parents have been campaigning for the British government to secure his return to the UK. The trial was delayed for interlocutory appeals to the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court on the interpretation of section 17 of the Terrorism Act (R v Lane & Letts [2018] 1 WLR 3647) and then the trial was further adjourned for another interlocutory appeal to the Court of Appeal on whether the scheme of the Terrorism Act 2000 deprived defendants of the ability to rely on the common law defence of duress ([2018] EWCA Crim 2602). At the conclusion of the evidence, the Recorder of London was persuaded to leave the defence of duress in relation to two counts where the defendants had sent money to try and assist their son leave Islamic State territory. In relation to these counts, the defendants were acquitted on one and on the other the jury could not reach a verdict and Crown did not seek a re-trial.

The defendants were convicted of sending money on one earlier occasion in circumstances where the Crown’s case was that - whilst this was not the defendant’s intention - there were nonetheless reasonable grounds to suspect the money may have fallen into the wrong hands. The sentences of imprisonment of both defendants were suspended.

Media coverage can be found here: BBC, Channel 4, Daily Mail, The Guardian