Muslim woman who stole twin's passport to travel to Syria spared jail

August 1, 2015 2:04 pm

 

A Muslim woman who stole her twin sister’s passport in order to travel to Syria, has been spared jail.

Jamila Henry, 22, pleaded guilty to stealing her twin sister’s passport “with improper intent.”

The mother of one was described as “shy” and “quiet”, compared to her Westernised and “outspoken” twin Jalila.

In January last year, she was among four women who were stopped at Heathrow and as a result she was spoken to by police and a Prevent team.

In May last year, the defendant and her son tried to travel to Turkey via Belgrade from Luton airport but was stopped again and missed her flight.

Her mobile phone was found to contain various images of people holding guns, the Isis flag and salute and one with a caption about martyrdom.

On another occasion, she travelled with her son to Belgium via Dover and continued on to Syria via Turkey before returning home six months later.

When she was stopped at Stansted airport on her way back, she admitted that she had been in Syria.

In March this year, Turkish authorities informed British counterparts that the defendant’s sister had been stopped and detained for deportation on suspicion she had travelled to Syria when in fact it was Henry using her twin’s passport.

Her sister Jalila stated that on 12 March, Jamila had asked to borrow her passport to use for identification to pawn some jewellery and she had no idea she was going to take it to travel.

When Jamila took a coach to Brussels from Victoria station she changed her appearance and wore western clothes to look like her more outgoing sister, the court heard.

Although Henry admitted trying to enter Syria, she says that she was not doing so for military reasons, but to tend to children in the country who were suffering.

Her lawyer told the court that she was remorseful for her actions: “She wants the court to know the pain and distress she has caused. That is uppermost in her mind as she wants to move forward.”

She was sentenced to 12 months suspended for two years and ordered to complete 40 days’ rehabilitation activity for the offence, having already spent four months in custody.

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