Leicester

Zameer Ghumra guilty of showing beheading video to child

Zameer Ghumra
Image caption Zameer Ghumra denied disseminating "terrorist propaganda" in the form of a graphic Twitter video

A man who showed a beheading video to a child has been convicted of disseminating "terrorist propaganda".

Pharmacist Zameer Ghumra, of Leicester, showed the boy a graphic Twitter video on his mobile phone.

Nottingham Crown Court heard the 38-year-old also told two primary school-age youngsters "you had to kill" anyone who insulted Islam.

Ghumra, who will be sentenced on Friday, had claimed the two boys were making "a false allegation".

He was convicted of disseminating "terrorist propaganda" in the form of a graphic Twitter video on his mobile phone, between January 2013 and September 2014.

During the trial, prosecutor Simon Davis said Ghumra believed in a "very, very, very extreme" form of Islam.

Image copyright North East CTU
Image caption The court heard Ghumra posted pro ISIS content on social media

Ghumra, of Haringworth Road, stood emotionless as the verdict was read out after two hours of jury deliberation.

The court heard he had been working as a pharmacist in Oundle, Northamptonshire and told a customer members of the so-called Islamic State were "not bad people, they're only defending themselves".

He "brainwashed" the two children, instructing them to not have non-Muslim friends and asking if they wanted to join the terrorist group or help recruit others to its ranks, the jury was told.

The older boy described being shown "horrible and disgusting" beheading videos, and asked Ghumra "how can you behead people?".

He said Ghumra replied: "If you truly believe in Allah, you can do it."

Image caption Ghumra was arrested in September 2015 but the beheading video was not found

In a police interview played to the court, the younger child said: "He put us on Twitter. He told us to follow whoever he followed. He was following ISIS and really bad people."

He also said Ghumra gave them business cards - which were shown to the jury - with the boy's names and email addresses alongside a picture of a rifle.

The jury heard he used a rented house to teach children about jihad and the boys were not allowed non-Muslim friends.

The boy said Mr Ghumra asked him to choose between going to Iraq or Syria, or staying in the UK and "manipulating" other people into supporting IS.

'Dangerous man'

After Ghumra's arrest at Birmingham Airport in September 2015, a computer was seized showing 1,600 search results for terms including "survival knives" and "bushcraft".

But when police searched his home, neither the phone containing the beheading video or the video itself were recovered.

Sue Hemming, from the Crown Prosecution Service, said: "Zameer Ghumra tried to brainwash impressionable children with this violent ideology by making one watch beheading videos and urging them both to adopt a hard-line religious outlook.

"The children were brave to give evidence and we would like to thank them for helping to secure this conviction of a dangerous man."

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