Press Release: Mixed Verdicts in Sally Lane & John Letts Trial

21/6/2019

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This statement is made on behalf of Sally Lane and John Letts.

We have been convicted for doing what any parent would do if they thought that their child’s life was in danger.

We want to make it clear that we have not been convicted of funding terrorism. We have been convicted of sending money to our son where there were reasonable grounds to suspect the money might have been used for terrorist purposes. No one during our trial even suggested that the £223 that we actually managed to send to Jack was in fact used for terrorism.

The fact that the jury acquitted us of some of the allegations makes it clear that the Jury accepted that we believed that our son’s life was in imminent danger.

We believe we have been let down badly by the police and the government.

We tried to do the right thing. We fully cooperated with the police and asked them repeatedly for help. They promised they would help us, but instead of helping us, they used the information we provided to prosecute us.

Jack is still a British citizen, and we have pleaded with the government to help us to bring him to safety even if that meant that he might be prosecuted in the UK. If there is evidence, he has committed a crime, then he should be tried.

Having escaped from ISIS, he is in limbo. The government claims it can do nothing because it is too dangerous for officials to travel to Syria to help Jack, although journalists have been able to travel there and we believe that there are numerous members of UK government agencies on the ground in the region. Others – including children - are in the same situation.

This means that after more than two years in jail, Jack still faces indefinite detention, without being charged or tried for any crime. Effectively, there is no government policy for British citizens, including children, trapped in Syria.

The heavy price we paid today is an indicator of the love we have for our children. We are committed to help Jack return home. We will continue our campaign to help those that the government has turned its back on.

Tayab Ali, solicitor for the defendants and Partner at ITN Solicitors said "Sally and John have been very badly let down by the UK's counter terrorism policies. The vacuum left by the government's failure to adequately deal with Syrian returnees leaves family members struggling in extraordinary circumstances to provide assistance to their loved ones and as this case clearly demonstrates feeling as though they have no option but to act despite the law and police to try and save the life of a family member".   

 

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