Terrorist jailed for 16 years after Hyde Park gun plot, as he was ’10 minutes away from getting gun’ to launch attack

15 December 2023, 16:19 | Updated: 15 December 2023, 17:07

Edward Little has been jailed for at least 16 years.
Edward Little has been jailed for at least 16 years. Picture: Counter Terrorism Police

By Jenny Medlicott

A homegrown terrorist has been jailed for life after plotting to launch a gun attack on Hyde Park.

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Edward Little, 22, was accused of planning to buy a gun and use it to kill a Christian preacher and her camera crew at the London park, as well as soldiers and police.

The judge said that Little knew Speaker’s Corner was famous for freedom of speech and that an attack there would have sent a strong message.

She also said that an attack in that location would have risked the lives of many people of all faiths and struck terror.

Little said he would wear a camera so he could live-stream the attack. He pleaded guilty to preparing acts of terrorism earlier this year at the Old Bailey.

On Friday, Little refused to come to Court One of the Old Bailey for his sentencing where he was handed a life sentence of at least 16 years in jail.

Little set off on September 23 with £5,000 in cash to buy a gun. He agreed to pay a taxi driver £300 to take him from Brighton to Lewisham, south London.

His plan was stopped when armed police moved in to arrest him in south London.

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Little became violent when he was shown an image of the preacher.
Little became violent when he was shown an image of the preacher. Picture: Counter Terrorism Police

Little declined to answer questions in police interviews after his arrest but became violent when he was shown a YouTube image of the Christian preacher he had planned to target.

He launched himself from his chair, swinging his fists before he was physically restrained.

Little had previously been convicted of 14 offences in seven separate cases dating back to 2017. These included robbery, having a knife and drug dealing.

Detective Chief Superintendent Olly Wright said following the sentencing: "This is a very, very dangerous man who's been stopped from carrying out a terrorist attack. I'm absolutely convinced of that - and lives have been saved as a result.

"Obviously, he had a target at Speakers' Corner but anyone who got in his way, like a police officer or members of the public, could have been at risk."

Mr Wright, head of Counter Terrorism Policing South East (CTPSE), added: "The fact that Little decided he needed to plead guilty is testament to the quality of the investigation and the evidence that we were able to gather.

"This is what the network is here to do. We are here to stop terrorists in their tracks."

The court previously heard that Little, from Brighton, converted to Islam while 18 years old at Cookham Wood Young Offender Institution in Kent and at HMP Deerbolt in County Durham.

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