May 1. Rana Irfan Aslam, a 51-year-old shopkeeper from Dundee, was sentenced to one year in prison for grooming a 12-year-old girl for sex during an 18-month period 20 years ago. The judge said it was the maximum possible sentence for the crime as Aslam did not engage in sexual intercourse with the girl. The court heard that Aslam gave the girl gifts of money, perfume and alcohol before sexually abusing her at various locations in Dundee, Angus, Perth and Kinross and Fife between August 1998 and August 2000. In a blog post, Natasha Phillips, an expert on family law, explained that nuances in sentencing guidelines for non-recent abuse are resulting in unduly lenient sentences: “There are very real concerns about the way offenders of non-recent abuse continue to be sentenced and which bolster the view that unmerited leniency has managed to find its way into the system.”
May 1. Lewis Ludlow, a 26-year-old convert to Islam from Rochester, was charged with planning “a large scale multiple casualty vehicle-borne attack” on tourist hotspots in London. He was also charged with trying to join the Islamic State, in the Philippines.
May 1. Karen Sunderland, a Tory candidate for Town Council in Lewisham, London, was suspended after comparing Islam to Nazism on social media. Her offending tweet read: “Love your optimism. The thing is, religion undermines the hard fought for values and tolerances of progressed countries…suppresses free speech and is auto immune from criticism. This is toxic and where the hostility comes from. Religion is totalitarian. Islam has become the new Nazism.”