Jury out in case of Sheffield taxi driver on bomb hoax charge

Courts: Reports from around the region.
Courts: Reports from around the region.
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JURY members are considering their verdict in the case of a Sheffield taxi driver who sent a message to the English Defence League saying one of its marches was going to be bombed.

Father-of-five Sakander Mahmood, aged 26, has admitted sending the right-wing group a hoax message through its website which said: “14th July in Bristol, You are getting bombed”.

But the jury sitting at Sheffield Crown Court was told Mahmood told arresting police officers he did it ‘just for a laugh’ and thought his threat would be ignored.

Mahmood, of Firth Park Road, Firth Park, told the court: “At that time I thought they’d (the EDL) get a bit wound up. I wanted to get under their skin a bit and thought they would not take it seriously.”

He said he had no idea that what he did would be taken seriously, adding: “If that had occurred to me I wouldn’t have dared to do it.”

Mahmood said he had the ‘utmost respect for the police’ due to his dealings with officers through his work.

“I would hate to waste their time,” he said.

The defendant told the jury he had no interest in Islamic politics and was not very religious.

Jury members heard that the EDL took the message ‘very seriously’ and informed anti-terror police.

Mahmood said: “It was stupid, out of order. I can’t believe I’m stood here. I didn’t think.”

Mahmood denies communicating a bomb hoax.