Hashem Abedi: Manchester Arena bomber’s brother and two other terror attackers guilty of assaulting prison officer | UK News

Three convicted terrorists, including the brother of the Manchester Arena bomber, have been found guilty of attacking a prison officer in Belmarsh’s high security unit.

Paul Edwards, 57, said he thought he would be killed when he was set upon by Hashem Abedi, Parsons Green Tube bomber Ahmed Hassan and Muhammed Saeed, who spoke about carrying out a knife attack in London.

Abedi, 24, conspired with his elder brother and suicide bomber Salman Abedi, who killed 22 people and injured hundreds more at the Manchester Arena on May 22 2017.

He was suspected of being the “amir” or “leader” of a group of Islamist terrorist inmates inside Belmarsh’s “prison within a prison,” Woolwich Crown Court heard.

Abedi is seen smiling in CCTV footage before he, Hassan and Saeed storm Mr Edwards’ office, where he operated an “open door policy”.

Mr Edwards, a custodian manager who has worked at Belmarsh for 25 years, told jurors he was hit with a chair, repeatedly punched and kicked on May 11 2020.

“I feared for my life, and I genuinely thought if I hadn’t fought back I would’ve ended up with at least extreme injuries or dead,” he said.

He said “it felt like a lifetime” before colleagues, including Nick Barnett, who has been a prison officer for 21 years, came to his aid seconds later.

“It was just like a pack of animals on Mr Edwards,” said Mr Barnett, who was also kicked in the leg by Abedi during the incident.

Mr Edwards, who can be seen with head injuries and blood on his shirt, suffered a laceration to his head, bruising to his back, rib cage and face and has lasting damage to his hearing.

All three prisoners denied assault causing actual bodily harm to Mr Edwards but were found guilty at Woolwich Crown Court on Tuesday by a jury after around three and a half hours of deliberations.

Abedi was also found guilty of assault by beating of an emergency worker over the attack on Mr Barnett.

“I don’t think we get created like other prisoners”

Abedi, who defended himself, was not allowed to cross-examine his victims but accused other prison officers of lying in their statements as he questioned them from the dock.

In a closing speech, he said: “I don’t think we get treated like other prisoners.”

When Abedi appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court, he said in relation to the assault: “I did assault that filthy pig, but I don’t see any wrongdoing.”

Asked about the second charge, he was said to have replied: “Same as before, I don’t see any wrongdoing.”

At a later Crown Court appearance, Hassan told a judge: “I hate you very much, you are an evil man.”

The judge said she will sentence them later on Tuesday.

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