Richard Padley represented Malcolm Hodges at his sentencing hearing in relation to offences of encouraging terrorism and possession of material likely to assist in the commission of acts of terrorism. Mr Hodges received a custodial sentence of 3 years imprisonment.
Richard had represented Mr Hodges since his preliminary hearing where the allegations against Mr Hodges included soliciting murder (an offence that carries a life sentence). Following disclosure of the Crown’s case representations were made to the Crown, as well as the submission of a basis of plea, seeking reduction of the charge of soliciting murder down to encouraging terrorism on the basis of recklessness. This was accepted by the Crown at the PCMH at which guilty pleas were entered.
Mr Hodges had sent at least 10 letters of 13 pages in length to unknown recipients, including the Bangladeshi Association of Greater Reading, in which he asked for individuals of the Islamic faith to conduct acts of terrorism against named individuals which Mr Hodges had dealings with over the previous few years. HHJ Katz QC in sentencing described the contents of the letter as shocking and scary.
Following a search of Mr Hodges computer a large quantity of the magazine ‘Inspire’ were found as well as ‘The Anarchists Cookbook’. Drafts of other letters, including those addressed to Barack Obama and The Queen were also found.
Mr Hodges has a string previous convictions for offences relating to sending material of material, including a conviction in 2008 for encouraging terrorism. On that occasion a much shorter letter had been sent to a number of Mosques asking for their attendee’s to commit acts of terror against the ACCA. On that occasion he received a custodial sentence of 2 years custody.
HHJ Katz QC sentencing Mr Hodges at Woolwich Crown Court accepted Richard’s mitigation that there was no real risk that the recipients of the letter would act on the letters and passed a 3 year custodial sentence.