Coventry & Warwickshire

Coventry terror accused 'had no intention to hurt anyone' in Syria

Birmingham Crown Court Image copyright Google
Image caption Sandeep Samra is facing a trial-of-issue at Birmingham Crown Court

A teenager who planned to travel to Syria to help the Islamic State group as a nurse had no intention of hurting anyone, a court has heard.

Sandeep Samra, 18, of Coventry, admits attempting to travel to Syria last summer but denies intending to carry out acts of violence there.

Prosecutors allege messages on her phone prove she was "going for death" and to "join in with the brothers".

But Miss Samra said she just wanted a "new environment" outside the UK.

She has been giving evidence at Birmingham Crown Court at her trial-of-issue which is to establish whether she intended to commit terrorist acts.

Midlands Live: Girl, 8, died from stab wound to chest; Award for girl, 11, who chased burglar

The former health and social care student has pleaded guilty to a single count of engaging in conduct in preparation for terrorist acts by planning to travel to Syria between 1 June and 31 July last year.

The teenager said she wanted to leave the UK after members of an anti-extremism team, alerted by her school, informed her family she had changed religion from Sikhism to Islam.

'Big myself up'

"I just wanted a new environment," she said.

"The most suffering is over there [in Syria] - I thought I would be the most beneficial over there.

"My goal was just to get out of the UK."

She said she discussed events in Syria with two men she chatted with online to "big myself up".

"We never said we were going to hurt anybody," she said.

"I have never had a boyfriend in real life. There was nobody to talk to in real life."

The court has heard she was arrested and her mobile phone seized in July 2017.

The trial-of-issue continues.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites