Judge tells Anjem Choudary his actions “divided the world into two”
A radical preacher has been sentenced to five years and six months in prison today for inviting others to support ISIS, having previously dabbled with a career in law.
Though Anjem Choudary has made quite a name for himself as a controversial preacher, he reportedly studied at the Guilford College of Law (now the University of Law) and went on to open his own solicitors’ practice in his late twenties.
However — as we reported at the time of his trial — the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) stressed to us that the 49-year-old hasn’t held a valid practising certificate since 2002. Despite newspapers claiming he owned his own practice, a spokesperson for the SRA also maintained to Legal Cheek that Choudary “has never worked anywhere”.
Frequently described as a hate preacher, Choudary’s time toeing the line of what is lawful and what is unlawful came to a halt this year. He was found guilty in July of terror offences.
Today — having caused quite a stir while he was on bail for allegedly eating non-halal food in McDonalds — the former lawyer returned to the Old Bailey to receive his sentence.
Prosecuting counsel Richard Whittam QC, of 2 Bedford Row, reportedly reminded the court that Choudary has been convicted of a serious offence that carries with it a maximum penalty of ten years behind bars.
Matrix Chambers barrister Mark Summers QC, acting for Choudary, is reported to have said there’s no evidence his client was involved directly in acts of terrorism, and that he can only be sentenced for offences committed, not his notoriety and reputation.
Addressing a hushed Old Bailey courtroom 2 this afternoon, Mr Justice Holroyde told Choudary his actions had “indirectly” contributed to terrorism and sentenced him to five-and-a-half-years behind bars. During his sentencing remarks, the judge reportedly told the defendant:
Like ISIS you divided the world into two: the land of Islam and the rest of the world.