Leeds & West Yorkshire

IS leader speech retweeter Mary Kaya sentenced

Mary Kaya Image copyright SWNS
Image caption Kaya received a two-year suspended sentence

A mother-of three found guilty of encouraging terrorism after she retweeted a speech by the so-called Islamic State leader has been given a suspended jail sentence.

Mary Kaya, 57, from Batley, West Yorkshire, had denied posting a link to an audio clip by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

She was found guilty after a trial of dissemination of a terrorist publication likely to encourage people to participate in terrorism.

Kaya received a 21-month term.

A week-long trial at Leeds Crown Court heard the Twitter account had been monitored after Kaya's previous address in Dewsbury was searched by counter-terrorism police, who arrested her husband in May 2014.

'A dreadful diatribe'

Image copyright Al-FURQAAN MEDIA
Image caption The Twitter account retweeted an audio link to the IS group leader al-Baghdadi's speech

Her Twitter account retweeted a link to one of al-Baghdadi's speeches in November 2014.

Prosecutor Simon Davis told the jury: "The message was aimed at encouraging anyone who listened to or read it to participate in terrorist activity."

Kaya, who was arrested in October 2015, told police she used the account "to see what was going on in the world" and said no-one had access to the account but her.

She later insisted the account must have been hacked and she had not posted anything.

Kaya's custodial sentence was suspended for two years and will be subject to a curfew.

Sentencing her, Judge Peter Collier QC labelled the speech "a dreadful diatribe" but said that apart from the content of her Twitter account there was no evidence that Kaya held radical views or had tried to radicalise others, including her family.

He added that Kaya had attended the Prevent counter-terrorism programme and there was a reasonable prospect of rehabilitation - if it had not already been achieved

The judge concluded the level of culpability and harm was "low" and that she could not be classed as a dangerous offender.

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