Leicestershire man called terrorist a 'hero' and revealed desire to kill others

Mugshot of Edward Griffiths
-Credit: (Image: Leicestershire Police)

This is the face of a Leicestershire man who called a mass murderer a “hero”. Edward Griffiths also spoke of desires to go on his own killing spree before he was caught.

Griffiths, of Whitwick’s Hermitage Road, near Coalville, committed a series of offences between November 2021 and June 2022 in which he encouraged acts of terrorism. One saw him praise the perpetrator of the 2019 Christchurch terrorist attack in New Zealand.

The atrocity, which was committed at two mosques, saw 51 people killed. Griffiths shared footage of the terror attack to two people and told them that he would “love” to replicate the terrorists’ actions. Social media posts also saw him label the Christchurch killer a “hero”.

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Griffiths also disclosed to others of his desire to kill others, while he chatted about using various weapons too. The 44-year-old’s posts soon came to the attention of police with counter terrorism officers executing a warrant at his home in June 2022.

During police interviews, Griffiths did not answer questions about his posts, but later admitted they had been made due to personal troubles in the wake of Covid-19. He was subsequently charged with encouraging terrorism in May last year.

At his Birmingham Crown Court trial, both police and the prosecution made clear that Griffiths was not planning any specific attack, but that he had an extreme mindset. They said he was reckless about whether his actions would encourage others to commit terrorist acts.

Griffiths was found guilty last month on one count of encouragement of terrorism and of two counts of dissemination of a terrorist publication. He returned to court on Friday (June 7) where he was handed a four-and-a-half year jail term.

Speaking after sentencing, Detective Inspector Glynn Jehu, from Counter Terrorism Policing – East Midlands, said: “Fifty one people lost their lives in the Christchurch attacks. Spreading messages of extreme hate and violence in the way that Griffiths did is dangerous, reckless and could easily have encouraged others to commit an act of terrorism. It was therefore important that we stopped this by acting on information received, investigating the communications fully and bringing Griffiths before the courts.”

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