In his constituency, a man was convicted guilty of murdering MP Sir David Amess.
During the trial at the Old Bailey, Ali Harbi Ali, 26, from Kentish Town in London, was also found guilty of planning terrorist activities.
Harbi Ali had previously refuted all of the allegations, claiming that he had targeted the Southend West MP because of his position on Syrian airstrikes.
Who is Ali Harbi Ali?
After the court told the jury that Harbi Ali had no valid legal defense for killing Sir David, the jury took only 18 minutes to reach a guilty decision.
On the 15th of October 2021, the MP was assassinated while attending a constituency surgery in Leigh-on-Sea.
To gain admission to the meeting, Ali pretended to be an NHS staffer moving to the region before stabbing the 69-year-old Conservative MP to death.
“Having considered the defendant’s account taken at its highest in his favor, I instruct you, as the judge, that the killing was neither in lawful self-defense, nor in lawful defense of another, nor in the lawful prevention of crime,” Mr. Justice Sweeney remarked to the jury.
“Because that is a direction in law, the prosecution are entitled to rely on it and you must follow it in your deliberations.
“No other defence arises.”
In closing, prosecutor Tom Little QC had said that the evidence against Harbi Ali was ‘utterly overwhelming and convincing’.
He said: “I suggest you will never forget the body-worn footage of the defendant still holding the bloody knife he had had for five years for just such an attack in that church on Sir David Amess.”
He added that the defendant had been ‘smiling, almost enjoying reliving and explaining what he intended to do and what he had done’ stating that he was ‘revelling, you may think, in his terrorist acts’.
Little continued: “In Ali Harbi Ali’s world he has done nothing wrong.
“But you live in the real world, and in the real world you cannot take the law into your hands, hence he has no defense to the charge of murder.”
Tracy Ayling QC, Harbi Ali’s defense attorney, stated that the defendant’s plea was that his activities were intended to save lives’ in Syria.
“His objective was to save lives at the expense of Sir David’s but also his own,” she explained.
During the trial, jurors were also told that the defendant had investigated and planned other attacks against MPs, including Michael Gove, whom he considered being a “threat to Muslims.”
During his testimony, Harbi Ali stated that he intended to join Islamic State in Syria but found it too ‘tough,’ so he opted to ‘assist Muslims here,’ as he saw it.
Who is MP is Sir David Anthony Andrew Amess?
Sir David Anthony Andrew Amess was a British politician who served as a Member of Parliament for Southend West from 1997 until he was murdered in 2021.
He previously served as MP for Basildon from 1983 to 1997. He was a member of the Conservative Party