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Manchester Arena bomber's brother and two others guilty of assaulting prison officer
22 February 2022, 13:17 | Updated: 22 February 2022, 14:43
The brother of the Manchester Arena bomber has been found guilty of attacking a prison officer in the high security unit at Belmarsh.
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Paul Edwards, 57, was hit with a chair and repeatedly punched and kicked by Hashem Abedi, 24, Parsons Green Tube bomber Ahmed Hassan, 22, and Muhammed Saeed, 23, who spoke about carrying out a knife attack in London.
All three prisoners denied assault causing actual bodily harm (ABH) to Mr Edwards but were found guilty at Woolwich Crown Court on Tuesday by a jury after around three-and-a-half hours of deliberations.
Abedi was also found guilty of assault by beating of an emergency worker after kicking prison officer Nick Barnett as he came to his colleague's aid.
Mrs Justice Cheema-Grubb said she will sentence them later on Tuesday.
Abedi was sentenced to another three years and 10 months of jail time after attacking two Belmarsh prison officers, of which he will serve half.
Ringleader Hashem Abedi, 24, hit Paul Edwards, 57, with a chair before he, Parsons Green Tube bomber Ahmed Hassan, 22, and a third convicted terrorist, Muhammed Saeed, 23, repeatedly punched and kicked him.
Hassan, who is serving a life sentence with a minimum of 34 years, and Saeed, who is serving a five-year sentence, were both handed three-year jail terms.
Officers spoke to witnesses, interviewed the three men, and worked closely with staff at Belmarsh to establish the circumstances and bring forward the prosecution, police said.
Due to the criminal history of the defendants, the assault was investigated by the Met's Counter Terrorism Command. However, there was no evidence of any terrorist intent.
Before he was sentenced, Hashem Abedi told the judge: "I don't think the sentence is going to make any difference. Inshallah, myself and all my brothers will be leaving the prison very soon.
"The promises of Allah and the Prophet are more truthful than your sentence and your judgment."
Commander Richard Smith, who leads the Met's Counter Terrorism Command, said: "These three offenders launched a cowardly and vicious attack on a prison officer, in what they saw as retribution for having some of their privileges taken away.
"One witness described it as a 'frenzied' attack, and I have no doubt they set out to seriously injure their victim. I would like to praise the prison staff who intervened very quickly, and were able to stop the attack and gain control of the situation.
"We worked closely with the prison service to thoroughly investigate this incident, and ensured these men were put before the courts."