British Muslim couple jailed for ‘offensive in the extreme’ YouTube videos that glorified murder of Fusilier Lee Rigby
- Rebekah Dawson, 22, and husband Royal Barnes, 23, recorded and uploaded three videos shortly after Lee Rigby’s murder
- Shocking videos glorified Fusilier’s killing in Woolwich, London, last May
- In one Barnes is seen laughing at tributes left to murdered soldier
- In another Dawson rants at how British troops in London would be killed
- Dawson, who wore her veil in court, was sentenced to 20 months in prison
- Barnes jailed for five years and four months today at Old Bailey
PUBLISHED: 17:30, 14 March 2014 |
A Muslim couple were jailed today for glorifying the murder of Lee Rigby in videos posted on YouTube.
Rebekah Dawson, 22, and her husband Royal Barnes, 23, recorded and uploaded three videos shortly after the murder in Woolwich, south east London, last May.
Barnes was jailed for five years and four months at the Old Bailey after pleading guilty last month to three counts of disseminating a terrorist publication and one of inciting murder.
His wife, who insisted on wearing her veil in court, admitted charges of disseminating a terrorist publication and was sentenced to 20 months in prison.
Rebekah Dawson and her husband Royal Barnes uploaded three videos to YouTube shortly after Rigby’s murder last may. Today, a judge sentencing the couple said the footage was ‘offensive in the extreme’
Judge Brian Barker QC told them the videos they made were ‘offensive in the extreme’.
He said the couple showed ‘a total and continuing disregard’ for how their actions might affect the family of trooper Rigby, those people who witnessed the murder and the British public.
Barnes and Dawson of Hackney, north east London, embraced in the dock and insisted they would not be separated by a security guard at the start of the hearing.
Before sentencing, the judge asked Dawson’s lawyer to confirm the defendant was the woman in the dock in the full veil.
The court heard the first of the three videos was made on the day Fusilier Rigby was murdered, with Barnes hailing it as a ‘brilliant’ day.
Dawson, pictured without her veil as a teenager. The Muslim convert hails from a devoutly Christian family
It was edited with graphic images of a man holding a decapitated head, a scene of the Woolwich murder and the Twin Towers, and sent on YouTube the following day.
The second video contained the same edited images and saw Dawson ranting about how British troops would be killed on the streets of London.
Then in a follow-up, Barnes mocked the outpouring of public grief, laughing uncontrollably as he drove past floral tributes with Dawson.
Barnes, who knew one of the murderers, Michael Adebowale, also posted on Facebook the offer of a reward for avenging the rape of an Iraqi woman. None of his 500 friends replied.
The post on June 12 2013 stated: ‘Any1 who kills an invading soldier in Muslim land I will give them a Vauxhall Astra 3door and money (French British American any kaffir soldier take ur pick).’
Judge Barker told the couple: ‘Within hours of the murder of Lee Rigby you two together had produced the first versions of videos that glorified that murder and glorified terrorist acts.
‘You both knew perfectly well what you were doing, you knew it was illegal and also you realised they would cause enormous offence and distress. Each of you played an equal part in producing these videos.
Dawson appears at the Old Bailey today where she was jailed for 20 months. Her husband was jailed for five years and four months
‘These videos were offensive in the extreme, at a particularly sensitive time for the family of Lee Rigby. No-one is entitled to advocate a perverted use of ideology to glorify murder on the streets of London.’
The judge sentenced Barnes to 26 months in jail for each of the three counts relating to the YouTube videos.
Dawson was sentenced to 20 months’ imprisonment for each of the first three charges, to run concurrently.
Mr Barker said the charge of inciting murder was more serious because it ‘encouraged others to carry on the war against the West’ and kill soldiers.
Mr Barker told the couple: ‘Freedom of speech has long been jealously regarded by the law but with that freedom comes respect and responsibility.’
Naeem Mian, representing Barnes, said that Barnes came from a deeply dysfunctional background as was ‘preyed upon’ by Muslim extremists.
In mitigating for Barnes, Naeem Mian told the court: ‘There are no ifs, no buts, no maybes, Mr Barnes makes it absolutely clear that these are idiotic acts borne out of breathtaking stupidity.’
Dawson’s lawyer Susan Meek said her client, who had been studying at university, also came under the influence of others and her dreams of becoming a teacher were now in tatters.
She said: ‘Over the last nine months, her faith and dress has been put under national and international limelight and it has caused her to reflect deeply about her belief and the way she lives her life and her religion.
‘There is an understanding from her all she wants now is to live a life quietly, legally, as a wife to her husband and have a family.’
Barnes described the day Fusilier Rigby (pictured) was murdered as ‘brilliant’. The footage, which was released on the day of his death, contained a variety of graphic and shocking scenes
Barnes had previous convictions for theft and receiving stolen goods before he converted to Islam and married Dawson in November 2011. Dawson had no previous convictions, apart from a charge of witness intimidation that she has admitted and is awaiting sentence for.
Barnes was a member of the al-Muhajiroun group by mid 2012 and in December 2012 was given a suspended sentence for abusive behaviour at an EDL demonstration.
Prosecutor Kate Wilkinson told the court Barnes attended a series of events involving the banned group Al Muhajiroun.
Miss Wilkinson said: ‘He is seen associating with a number of individuals including Michael Adebowale at various rallies and associations effectively advancing the introduction of Sharia law into the UK.’
Barnes later posted a YouTube video showing him celebrating being spared jail after the hearing at Westminster Magistrates Court.
Part of the footage was taken secretly in the court, which is a criminal offence.
In it he complained that his sentence of 100 hours community service was ‘a complete and utter farce’ and chanted ‘E – E – EDL – Go to Hell’.
Judge Barker told Barnes and Dawson today their videos were ‘offensive in the extreme’ and were released at a particularly sensitive time for the family of Lee Rigby
The Muslim Patrol videos surfaced in December 2012 and featured Barnes and his fellow vigilantes Jordan Horner, 19, and Ricardo MacFarlane, 36, prowling the streets of east London trying to enforce Sharia Law.
In one incident Horner and MacFarlane attacked a group of men drinking in Shoreditch, shouting: ‘Kill the non-believers.’
McFarlane,of Walthamstow, east London, was jailed for 12 months in December after pleading guilty to affray. Horner, also of Walthamstow, east London, was jailed for 16 months after pleading guilty to two charges of assault and two charges of using threatening words and behaviour.
In March 2013 Barnes posted a video of himself ranting on the platform of Finsbury Park tube station about attempts to throw radical cleric Abu Qatada out of the country.
The film ends with him pretending to be a suicide bomber, saying ‘I’m going to do it, I’m going to do it’ followed by the sound of an explosion.
Within hours of the murder of Lee Rigby on 22 May 2013 Barnes made a video of himself celebrating the murder and shouting: ‘This is a brilliant day.’
Royal Barnes laughs as he passes hundreds of flower tributes left for Fusilier Rigby in Woolwich in one of the three videos the man posted shortly after the soldier’s death
The footage begins with jihadi chanting over a montage from the movie War Horse before moving on to the 9/11 attacks and an ITN news report of Michael Adebolajo at the Woolwich murder scene.
Barnes then says to the camera, backed by the black flag of jihad: ‘Now British soldiers you have seen what has happened to you. British soldiers, British public, Muslims are killed on a day to day basis in Afghanistan and Iraq by British soldiers every day. British soldiers they rape and they kill innocent people
‘Now this is a brilliant day, it is the Muslim fightback and the government will never be safe. Sharia law of Allah is coming. The message to your brilliant soldiers is it is not safe on the streets of London.
The message to David Cameron and the tyrants in the Houses of Parliament, is now a British soldier is on Sky News, tomorrow it will be you.
Muslims are going to rise up in London and implement the Sharia. You will never ever be save until you remove the invading forces out of Muslim lands.’
He adds: ‘Whether you like it or not Islam is coming to America, Islam is coming to London, and your mothers and your daughters will wear the hijab…
‘Muslims over here will rise up and implement and kill British soldiers unless you reform your policy and stop oppressing Muslims. The Sharia is going to come to south London.
‘That man [Lee Rigby] is in the grip of hellfire and I am glad he is in hellfire.’
The video was made by 8.15pm, edited at 11.05pm and then uploaded on to Youtube at 5.08am on the account Musa Real Talks with the title ‘British Soldier beheaded in London The Response Must See!’.
University student Rebekah Dawson appears in one of the videos – where the caption reads ‘British troops kill Muslims so they will die on London Streets’
When Dawson sent her friends a link to the video the next morning one of them objected: ‘What is the purpose of the links you have sent me?’
On 23 May they made a second film of Dawson speaking to the camera in her black full veil and gave it the title Muslim Women exposes!!! Must See’.
Dawson told the camera: ‘You keep poking at an animal long enough it is going to fight back and bite you. We are fighting back and Sharia, Islamic law will come in.’
When it was posted, one of her friends warned her they faced arrest and she replied: ‘Did you watch it? It was really inciting and almost glorifying lol’
Both videos were removed from Youtube within two or three days.
A week later Dawson filmed Barnes on her mobile phone while he drove past the scene of the murder and the dozens of bouquets of flowers left by the public.
Rebekah Dawson at Blackfriars Crown court in January for another witness intimidation case where she made history for refusing to remove her veil
He laughed hysterically and said: ‘This is where a British soldier died. This is what happens when the foreign policy is to attack Muslims’.
The video was uploaded on to YouTube on 4 June 2013 with the title ‘Muslim laughs at British Soldier Killing (Woolwich beheading) Muslim Laughs at Soldier Lee Rigby DEATH (Woolwich beheading).’
Dawson later boasted the comments had more than doubled in a text to her husband and added: ‘Babe, someone has reported the laughing video. It has been removed.’
Shortly before midnight on 12 June last year Barnes posted a link on Facebook to an Asian Tribune article about the rape of Iraqi women by US forces and wrote: ‘British and American soldiers will be killed for the sake of Allah. They will have their heads removed and this will make me smile and I will celebrate the death of British and American soldiers.’
A few minutes later he posted the message to his 500 friends: ‘Any1 who kills an invading soldier in Muslim land I will give them a Vauxhall Astra 3door and money (French British American any kaffir soldier take ur pick)’
Barnes and Dawson were also involved in harassing a caretaker they claimed had let indecently-dressed tourists into Finsbury Park Mosque.
On 10 June 2013 Barnes attacked Daudi Yusuf after he let two female Portuguese tourists view the interior without head coverings.
Two weeks later, after Mr Yusuf went to police to report the assault, Dawson threatened him and branded him a liar.
Dawson was charged with witness intimidation and the case caused nationwide controversy when Judge Peter Murphy refused to take her plea without her showing her face.
In his ruling, Judge Murphy said that Dawson could not expect the court to ‘set aside its established procedure’ to accommodate a ‘particular religious practice’.
Detectives found the extremist videos on Barnes’ laptop during a search on 26 June 2013 and when he was arrested on 9 August 2013 Barnes claimed: ‘As a British citizen, I am entitled to my opinions whether you like it or not.’
Police also recovered one of the Muslim Patrol videos from his laptop. The footage shows a masked figure boasting: ‘We are the Muslim Patrol. We are in north London, south London, east London, West London. Muslim Patrol will never be stopped. We will implement Islam upon your own necks. Islam is here.’
Michael Adebolajo (left) and Michael Adebowale (right) who were convicted of murdering Fusilier Rigby
In December he was jailed for six months for the Muslim Patrol offences at the Old Bailey and is still subject to a five year ASBO banning him from similar behaviour.
He was also convicted of assault by beating on Mr Yusuf and three counts of harassment at Westminster Magistrates Court.
Last month Barnes admitted one count of inciting terrorism overseas and three of disseminating terrorist publications in relation to the Youtube videos.
Dawson admitted three charges of disseminating terrorist publications at a previous hearing in December. She still awaits sentence for witness intimidation relating to the attack on Mr Yusuf.
Michael Adebolajo, 29, was given a whole-life term and Adebowale, 22, was sentenced to life with a minimum term of 45 years at a hearing last month after being found guilty of Fusilier Rigby’s murder.
The British Muslim converts ran the soldier down in a car before hacking him to death with a meat cleaver and knives in a frenzied attack. They dumped his body in the middle of the road near Woolwich Barracks.