Sudesh Amman, the knife-wielding attacker who stabbed two people on Streatham High Road last year, was released from prison days before the assault, despite officials raising concerns about his “extremist views.”
The 20-year-old was killed after wounding a man and a woman in South London on February 2, 2020 – days after being released from HMP Belmarsh, where he had served 40 months after being arrested on suspicion of terrorism offences.
An inquest, held at the Royal Courts of Justice, has heard how Amman was freed from jail after serving two-thirds of his sentence, despite the police asking for him to remain behind bars due to his “retained extremist views.”
According to testimony delivered to the inquest on Monday, authorities had told the prison governor to not release Amman, amid concerns that he had suggested he was intent on committing a terrorist attack once released from prison.
Detective Superintendent Dominic Murphy even stated that a search of Amman’s cell had uncovered a note that “appeared to show loyalty” to Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS).
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The prison governor rejected the police’s request to extend Amman’s sentence, because the offence he had originally been jailed for meant authorities could not justify extending his time behind bars. However, the 20-year-old was tagged and required to adhere to a curfew, living in a probation hostel.
Despite the terms of his release and concerns about his “extremist views,” Amman was able to look at knives before travelling to Streatham High Road and stabbing a woman outside the White Lion pub and a man outside a branch of Cash Converters. He was killed when pursuing officers opened fire 62 seconds after the attack began.
The inquest, which is set to explore Amman’s background, actions in prison, and movements following his release, is due to last for three weeks.
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