MP’s attacker gets life and told she will serve at least 15 years behind bars
THE “self-radicalised” Muslim woman who tried to kill East Ham MP Steve Timms was jailed for life today.
Roshonara Choudhry, 21, had been convicted of attempted murder at the Old Bailey.
The jury, who yesterday took just 14 minutes to find her guilty, had been told Choudhry smiled as she approached Mr Timms, 54, on May 14 at a constituency surgery before knifing him twice in the stomach as he stood up to shake her hand.
Choudhry tried to kill the politician because he had voted in favour of the Iraq war.
The former treasury minister needed surgery at The Royal London Hospital, after the incident at Beckton Globe centre, but has now made a full recovery.
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After refusing to attend court during her short trial she appeared at the Old Bailey via video-link for sentencing.
Mr Justice Cooke jailed Choudhry for life and ordered she serve a minimum of 15 years before she can be released on parole.
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Choudhry, of Central Park Road, East Ham, was convicted of attempted murder and two counts of possessing an offensive weapon.
Choudhry’s sentence was met by a furious reaction by her supporters in the public gallery.
At least two men had to be escorted from court by security guards as they repeatedly shouted ‘Allah Akbar’ (God is greater), ‘shame on the court’ and ‘go to hell’.
They then singled out a young Muslim woman, on the jury and screamed: ‘Shame on you sister, sitting on a jury, judging a Muslim sister.
‘Curse the judge.’
They were led from the court but continued their protests outside.
One man held a sign which read: ‘Stephen Timms go to hell.’
In court Mr Justice Cooke revealed Choudhry had told police she thought she would be arrested or even killed for her attack on Mr Timms.
“You said you wanted to die because you wanted to be a martyr and that it was Islamic teaching that to fight and die for your religion is the highest honour,” said the judge.
Bespectacled Choudhry, wearing a black headscarf, appeared in court via videolink from Bronzefield Prison, Ashford, Middx.
She looked blankly ahead as the judge told her: “You are only 21, you are an intelligent young lady but one who has absorbed immoral ideas and wrong patterns of thinking and attitudes.
“It is not only possible, but I also hope, that you will come to understand the distorted nature of your thinking, the evil you have done and hoped to do and you repent of it.
“I am unable to determine whether or when these attitudes may change or whether you will go to your grave thinking it was right to kill Mr Timms.
“You don’t suffer from any mental disease, you have simply committed evil acts coolly and deliberately, but you have the opportunity to see those acts for what they are and to change.
“The date of your actual release will depend on you, on your remorse, your insight and whether you exhibit a true change of mind and change of heart that will result in a change of your behaviour.”