Nicky Reilly given life sentence

PUBLISHED: 11:01 02 February 2009 | UPDATED: 10:24 10 June 2010

NICKY Reilly was given a life sentence for his failed attempt to set off a home-made bomb in Exeter's busy shopping centre.

NICKY Reilly was given a life sentence for his failed attempt to set off a home-made bomb in Exeter's busy shopping centre.

Reilly, 22, of Plymouth, attempted to carry out a suicide bomb attack on Princesshay last May but set off the bomb prematurely as he tried to assemble it in the toilets of the giraffe Restaurant.

After pleading guilty at the Old Bailey, Reilly, who was a Muslim convert calling himself Mohamad Abdulaziz Rashid Saeed-Alim, was given a life sentence with a minimum prison sentence of 18 years.

Assistant Chief Constable Debbie Simpson said: "The substantial sentence given to Mohamad Abdulaziz Rashid Saeed-Alim today demonstrates the seriousness of his actions and the carnage they could have caused.

"The actions of Mohamad Abdulaziz Rashid Saeed-Alim on that day in May 2008 were pre-meditated and could have led to the death and serious injury of many innocent bystanders.

"We accept Saeed-Alim has Asperger's Syndrome, but the judge has said today that he was fully aware of his actions and the consequences of them. His sentence reflects that.

"This has been a very long and complex investigation by Devon and Cornwall officers over the last eight months which has involved some 500 staff who have all played their part in bringing Saeed-Alim to justice.

"As a police force and a community, the pain and suffering terrorism can bring to a country, city or town is always at the forefront of our minds.

"We would also like to take this opportunity to praise the communities of Exeter and Plymouth who have supported our investigations throughout and pledged to help us fight terrorism in future as part of the Prevent programme - something that cannot work without full community engagement.

"There is no doubt this incident has had a significant impact on both Exeter and Plymouth, but working in partnership with local people and other agencies, across all faiths and walks of life, we can reduce the risk terrorism poses to our communities in future.

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