Jihadi Jack’s parents were ‘in denial’ when they discussed wiring cash to their son

Jihadi Jack’s parents were ‘in denial when they discussed wiring cash to their son as he fought for ISIS in Syria despite anti-terror expert’s warning they would be breaking the law’

  • Sally Lane, 56, and John Letts, 58, transferred money to their son Jack Letts
  • Couple are accused of funding terrorism by sending money to him in Syria  
  • Lane contacted International Centre for Study of Radicalisation at Kings College
  • She asked staff for help and suggested sending her son ‘jumpers and glasses’ 

The parents of alleged ISIS terrorist ‘Jihadi Jack’ were ‘in denial’ when they wired him money in Syria for  ‘jumpers and glasses’, a court heard today.

Organic farmer John Letts, 58, and his book publisher wife Sally Lane, 56, were advised they would be breaking the law but continued to transfer some £1,723 to their son Jack Letts anyway, jurors have been told. 

Fearing her 23-year-old son might already be dead, Lane contacted the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation at Kings College London.

They were warned against sending cash to him, but continued to do so anyway after ‘refusing to believe their son was fighting for ISIS.’

Sally Lane feared her son Jack (pictured) might be dead, so contacted experts at the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation at Kings College London for advice

John Letts, 58, and his wife Sally Lane, 56, (pictured outside court on May 23), are on trial at the Old Bailey accused of sending money to their son Jack Letts

John Letts, 58, and his wife Sally Lane, 56, (pictured outside court on May 23), are on trial at the Old Bailey accused of sending money to their son Jack Letts 

She said in an email to the centre: ‘We are desperate to find other sources or help to give us extra information or confirm that he is still alive.’

Both parents had a three-hour meeting with deputy director Dr Shiras Maher on August 21, 2015 and they raised the subject of sending their son jumpers and glasses.

Both parents had a three-hour meeting with deputy director Dr Shiras Maher (pictured outside court today), on August 21, 2015 and raised the subject of sending Jack jumpers and glasses

Both parents had a three-hour meeting with deputy director Dr Shiras Maher (pictured outside court today), on August 21, 2015 and raised the subject of sending Jack jumpers and glasses

Asked what he thought they meant Dr Maher said: ‘To send money to Jack.’

He told the Old Bailey today: ‘I advised them very clearly not to send money. I said they would fall foul of terrorist legislation.

‘I advised them of the consequences of a contravention of terrorist legislation.’

Dr Maher said the parents were ‘in denial’ and refused to believe that their son was fighting for ISIS, even as a guard.

He said Lane spoke of her son’s Arabic skills and suggested he might be working as a translator but he told them, ‘they all fight.’

The parents sobbed at the meeting when Dr Maher said their son would probably die in the Middle East.

He said: ‘I felt it was my role to prepare that for the fact that Jack might not return.I said people could not get out when they wanted to.

‘They were very distressed. You are saying to them their child would die. It seemed very likely he would be killed out there. I wanted to say that to them.

‘At times it felt like a therapy session.’

When he saw a photo of friend with his comrades in the British Army (pictured here), Letts had said he would 'love to perform a martyrdom operation in this scene' and behead him

When he saw a photo of friend with his comrades in the British Army (pictured here), Letts had said he would ‘love to perform a martyrdom operation in this scene’ and behead him

Prosecutors have told the court hw Jack Letts had left the family home in Oxford in 2014 aged 18

Prosecutors have told the court hw Jack Letts had left the family home in Oxford in 2014 aged 18

The court heard Lane could not believe the radicalised messages sent to her on Facebook were from him.

When he saw a picture of friend with his comrades in the British Army Letts had said he would ‘love to perform a martyrdom operation in this scene’ and behead him.

Lane thought someone else had hijacked his Facebook account until he named the family’s pet cats and fish.

On 2 September 2015, 31 December 2015 and 4 January 2016, Jack’s parents are accused of attempting to wire £1,723, to their son when they should have realised it could benefit terrorism.

Prosecutors said Jack Letts had left the family home in Oxford in 2014 aged 18.

His mother, a former fundraising and marketing officer, had bought him a flight to Jordan, despite a warning that he planned to go and fight in Syria, the court heard previously.

From there, he travelled to Kuwait and then on to Iraq and Syria, before he was captured in Raqqa.

The couple, from Oxford, deny three charges of entering into a funding arrangement for the purposes of terrorism.

The trial continues. 

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