East Ham man ‘intended to join Islamic State’

The trial is taking place at the Old Bailey

The trial is taking place at the Old Bailey - Credit: MPS

An East Ham man who was found with false documents in the back of a lorry was trying to join Islamic State, a court has heard today.

Michael Coe, of Central Park Road, is one of three men standing trial accused of engaging in conduct in preparation of terrorist acts.

The 34-year-old was arrested in Dover on November 30 alongside Simon Keeler, also 34, of Solander Gardens, Shadwell.

Coe’s travel documents were under the name Marcus Coleman, while Keeler’s bore the name of John Carpenter, the Old Bailey was told.

Jurors heard how the third defendant, former British boxing champion Anthony Small, of Southend Lane, Sydenham, was not with the pair as the 33-year-old had broken his hand two days earlier.

Among the items found at his address was an image of the British Isles covered by an Isis flag, the court heard.

Small is also charged with disseminating terrorist publications, supporting a proscribed organisation and conspiracy to possess false identity documents with improper intention.

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Opening the trial, prosecutor Richard Whittam QC said: “The prosecution’s case is they intended to travel to Syria to join and support what is called Islamic State of Iraq and Levant, known as Isil or Isis.”

The court was told how Coe, a married father-of-one, converted to Islam in 2007.

He had attended a number of demonstrations includng protests over the banning of niqabs in France and the values of Sharia law, Mr Whittam said.

The trial continues.