A hate-filled asylum-seeker who “stalked” police officers, a district judge and a female solicitor as he amassed a potentially lethal haul of explosive substances and weapons at his Halifax home has been given a 20-year extended prison sentence.
A judge added an extra five-year licence period on top of 33-year-old Askhan Ebrahimi’s 15-year prison term because of the danger he still posed to his intended targets.
The father-of-one was also made the subject of an indefinite restraining order which bans him from having any contact with 15 named individuals, going into nine specific streets, approaching within 25 metres of any police station in West Yorkshire and contacting any current member of staff at the Bradford Crown Court.
The court heard during his trial how Ebrahimi, who is understood to have come to the country from Iran in 2009, turned his flat in Oak Lane, Halifax, into “the hub” of his hate campaign against those in authority who he felt had wronged him.
The jury heard how Ebrahimi, who represented himself during his trial, enrolled on a GCSE science course at Calderdale College a month before officers from the North East Counter Terrorism Unit searched his home and discovered his collection of weapons, chemicals and books on how to make a variety of bombs.
Officers also seized listening devices and scanning equipment as well as a bullet-proof vest, a police badge, police Velcro labels, handcuffs and an extendable police baton.
The jury, who were unusually selected by number ballot rather than by name, were told at the start of the trial that back in 2014 police officers had been involved in a domestic incident between Ebrahimi and his then partner which eventually led to the imposition of a non-molestation order by a judge and the seizure of a previous collection of legally held weapons belonging to the defendant.
Mr Enoch alleged that the events in 2014 had “sowed the seeds” for Ebrahimi’s deep-seated hatred of the police and others in authority.
He told the jury that Ebrahimi’s hatred had literally taken over his life and his reason for living was to seek revenge.
“His obsessive personality caused him to research and plan that revenge in great detail,” alleged Mr Enoch.
“He found out information about his targets, photographed their homes, followed them and made notes about them.
“Things were to escalate in a most serious way when his research began to extend to the subject of making bombs.
“He bought different chemicals and other items which he was to store at his house and when looked at overall what he had gathered was the paraphernalia to make explosives and indeed to make homemade bombs.
“He was caught with all this material red-handed in his home.
“When you have heard all the evidence about this ladies and gentlemen, you will be left in no doubt that the defendant in this case is a very dangerous man who was not only thinking about hurting or killing people, but who was making real and focused preparations physically to action those thoughts.
“There are those who fantasise about extreme things in the privacy of their own bedroom, but this is not such a case as you will see.
“It is lucky that he was stopped before there was an atrocity.”
Ebrahimi, who declined to give evidence in his own defence, was found guilty of three specific allegations of stalking and possession of explosive substances with intent to endanger life.
He was also convicted of possessing a police extendable baton and a having a lock knife on him when he was arrested in October 2015.
He was found to have conducted extensive research on 38 different individuals in total.
Mr Enoch had alleged that one purpose for the ball bearings found at his home could have been to make a “shrapnel” bomb and some of the chemicals could have been used in “homemade incendiary devices”.
“So we submit that this defendant had deliberately acquired the means to make bombs,” he told the jury.
“There could be no lawful or legitimate reason for his possession of this material.”
Opening the case to the jury Mr Enoch referred to a Facebook post in which Ebrahimi said: ”Every single minute the hate is growing more and more...I haaaaaaaate the police that’s all I know in my life”.
Mr Enoch alleged that the police paraphenalia suggested the defendant was planning some sort of physical attack on an officer.
The jury were shown images including one of Ebrahmi posing in front of a Nazi flag and when officers went to his home they found a homemade poster bearing a one-fingered gesture stating:”Game Over PC **** and her colleagues”.
Ebrahimi was arrested on the college campus and police inquiries into his activities found that he had done internet research into nearly 40 individuals, mainly serving police officers, and he also had Facebook profiles relating to “a number of his targets” and their families.
Ebrahimi is also said to have travelled in his car to the addresses of some of his targets.
The defendant sat calmly in the dock as Judge David Hatton QC said he had become “obsessed with notions of vengeance”.
“Although it’s right to say that you had not at the time of your arrest created an explosive device you obtained those substances, as the jury has found, with intent to endanger the lives of other people or to cause serious damage,” said Judge Hatton.
“Your intention I have not the slightest doubt was to assemble an incendiary or explosive device to use in your campaign against some police officers and other individuals who you perceived had wronged you including a solicitor, a social worker and a district judge of this court.
“The alarm and distress caused to those who gained knowledge of your activities, and whom you were seemingly targeting, will have been immeasurable and their daily lives severely compromised.”
Judge Hatton said Ebrahimi had displayed signs of being paranoid and delusional, but he said he was also satisfied that the defendant was dangerous.
He said the danger was likely to persist for the foreseeable future and he was compelled to impose the extended 20-year sentence.
Ebrahimi will have to serve at least two-thirds of the 15-year jail term before he is considered for release by the Pariole Board.