Brusthom Ziamani, 25 and Baz Macaulay Hockton, 26 were both convicted at the Old Bailey today, Wednesday 7 October, of attempted murder. Ziamani was also convicted of actual bodily harm and common assault of a nurse and another officer who both came to the victim’s assistance.
Recovered CCTV showed the pair meeting and spending several minutes talking to each other prior to their attack on 9 January this year. Other footage then showed the pair waiting in the area where they eventually carried out their attack.
Wearing imitation suicide belts they had made from wires and plastic cartons, and armed with improvised weapons, they lured a prison officer to a cupboard on the pretext of getting them a spoon. As he went to the cupboard, they pushed him to the floor. Shouting ‘Allah Hu Akbar’, they set about inflicting serious injuries on the officer, whom they intended to kill. However, both were overpowered by other prison officers who rapidly filled the area and secured them in cells.
Commander Richard Smith, head of the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command, said: “I am very pleased with today’s verdict. This was a calculated and horrific attack by two prisoners who had one aim – to try and murder prison staff.
“I would like to pay tribute to the outstanding professionalism and bravery of the courageous prison staff who responded to the incident. Their quick and selfless actions saved the life of their colleague that day. My thoughts are also with the other victims of this attack who also were injured during this incident.”
The prison officer who was the victim of the attack said: “I thank those colleagues of mine who risked their lives coming to my aid on that terrible day. If it was not for their bravery and instant response, I am convinced I would not be here today.”
Due to the circumstances, the incident was treated as terrorism and the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command, supported by the Eastern Region Specialist Operations Unit, HMP Whitemoor and the prison service, launched a thorough investigation. Detectives recovered writings by both men, which were supportive of extremist Islamic ideology.
Sentencing is scheduled for Thursday 8 October at the same court.