'Jihadi Jack' Letts: Parents 'turned a blind eye'

Jack Letts
Image caption Jack Letts was dubbed "Jihadi Jack" after he travelled to Syria in 2014

The parents of a Muslim convert dubbed "Jihadi Jack" turned a "blind eye" to what he was doing, a court has heard.

Jack Letts left Oxford for Syria in 2014, aged 18. His parents deny three charges of funding terrorism.

John Letts, 58, and Sally Lane, 56, are accused of sending or trying to send their son money after he had joined so-called Islamic State.

Prosecutor Alison Morgan QC told jurors: "Parents turning a blind eye to the obvious is not a defence."

During her closing speech at the Old Bailey she said: "They had every reason to expect the worst; they just in fact did not want to hear the truth."

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

She added: "I'm sure it was no part of these defendants' hope for the future that involved their son travelling to Islamic State and them committing criminal offences in order to try to support him.

"The fact nobody wanted this to happen does not change reality. It does not change the fact these defendants committed these offences they are charged with. They are not beyond the law."

She said while it was only "natural" to have sympathy with the defendants as parents, "once Jack made the decision to follow Islamic State to Syria the normal parenting rules for what you can do to help your child change".

She said rules were in place to "stop the flow of funds into terrorist organisations".

Image copyright Julia Quenzler
Image caption His parents are accused of helping their son despite having reason to believe he had joined the Islamic State group

During the trial the court heard about a Facebook post purportedly posted by Jack where he talked about wanting to decapitate an old school friend.

It also heard how Mrs Lane received messages from her son, who converted to Islam aged 16, saying he wanted to leave Syria and asking for money.

She attempted to transfer £1,000, which she said was to help get him out of danger. Five days later, she was arrested.

The trial continues.

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