North West Evening Mail, October 9, 2017.
A man who suggested bombing Furness General Hospital and Manchester’s Trafford Centre has been sentenced to 18 weeks in prison.
Leroy McCarthy, 22, of Hall Street, Barrow, was arrested on Saturday after a series of “offensive, anti-semitic and homophobic” Facebook posts to his 340 online friends.
He appeared at South Cumbria Magistrates’ Court in Barrow today, October 9, charged with malicious communications.
Mr Lee Dacre, prosecuting, said: “He would have been here today on a terrorism charge but for the settings on his Facebook. It is a legal technicality.”
McCarthy, using the name Abdullah Mahmood, said: “They wouldn’t be able to evacuate all of FGH’s patients in time before at least one of the three explosions.”
Mr Dacre said: “When he was interviewed by police he asked what happened to freedom of speech, and said if he was going to bomb somewhere it would be the Trafford Centre.”
McCarthy, who also called himself a soldier of Allah, has 14 months left on licence after being released from custody in June after assaulting his partner.
He also posted: “14 months then it’s passport and off to join my people’s cause. I cannot wait to turn my back on the UK.”
Another post called murdered soldier Lee Rigby a “white coward who invades countries and rapes people”, and said “free my brother”.
He also posted: “A few months left and all my brothers are free. All them months of planning and it will be like a belated bonfire night for all those involved.”
Ms Maureen Fawcett, defending, said: “He accepts the postings would have been grossly offensive and upsetting, but they were taken out of context.
“He had fallen out with his sister who works at the hospital.
“He has also never been abroad on a lads holiday and he wanted to leave the UK to get his life back on track.”
Other posts were described as anti-semitic and homophobic.
“He reverted to become a Muslim when he was released from prison in 2015 and he is more peaceful since then. He had taken about 20 valium on the day he posted these.