Oxford

Jack Letts: Accused parents 'had permission to send Syria cash'

Jack Letts
Image caption Jack Letts, from Oxford, travelled to Syria in 2014

The parents of a Muslim convert who travelled to Syria said they were "given permission" to send him money by police, the Old Bailey has heard.

Jack Letts left home in Oxford at 18 for Iraq, then moved to Syria, raising fears he had joined Islamic State.

Anti-radicalisation expert Hanif Qadir said John Letts, 58, and Sally Lane, 56, claimed police had "given them permission" to send their son money.

John Letts and Ms Lane deny three charges of funding terrorism.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Organic farmer John Letts and former marketing officer Sally Lane deny funding terrorism

Mr Qadir told the court he had used John Letts's Facebook account to communicate with Jack in 2015.

He said he believed Jack was "deeply rooted with whatever organisation he was with".

He said he was then told by Jack's parents that an officer from the South East Counter Terror Unit had "given them permission" to help their son "escape ISIS".

"I can clearly recall winding my neck back into my shoulders thinking that was a bit strange," he said.

"That's not right, you need to check and make sure. I advised them to check their position with the police."

'Obsessed'

Earlier, the court heard Jack Letts had been a "very personable, engaging and humorous" young man who had a good relationship with his parents but had become more reserved in phone calls after travelling to Syria.

A police statement by John Letts said: "He had a phase being obsessed with football and would sleep next to his football. The same thing happened with religion.

"He started to become interested in what it is to be a Muslim some three years ago.

"Jack would want to outdo people. If he was to attempt something he would have to try to be the best at it."

The trial continues.

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