A man from Kent who was planning a “spectacular multi-victim attack” on one of the country’s busiest shopping streets has today been jailed for life.
Lewis Ludlow, of Warren Wood Road, Rochester, will serve a minimum of 15 years in prison, after he was jailed at the Old Bailey, following an investigation by Counter Terrorism Policing South East (CTPSE).
Passing sentence, Judge Nicholas Hilliard QC said: “In my judgement the pledges you made showed how determined you were [to undertake an attack].”
The 27-year-old had previously pleaded guilty to one count of engaging in preparation of a terrorist act and one count of arranging money for acts of terrorism.
The Daesh supporter admitted to planning a UK-based attack which involved hiring a vehicle and driving it into a heavy concentration of people on Oxford Street in London.
Ludlow was already being monitored by counter terrorism detectives and had previously attempted to travel to the Philippines, where he had been sending money for terrorist purposes. After being stopped when trying to leave the country and having his passport confiscated, he progressed plans to launch an attack in the UK.
Despite his plans being well progressed, he was detained by detectives from CTPSE and Kent Police, before undertaking the attack.
The court had previously heard how shortly before his arrest, Ludlow had started to become more security conscious and bought new mobile phones to hide his plans from others.
He then attempted to destroy the phone he had used to pledge his allegiance to Daesh, however the phone was recovered from a storm drain near his home. Detectives also recovered images he had taken during his hostile reconnaissance visit to London.
Judge Hiller jailed Ludlow for life, ordering him to serve a minimum for 15 years before being considered for parole.
Oath of allegiance
Detective Chief Superintendent Kath Barnes, head of CTPSE, said:
“Ludlow was planning an attack in the UK after swearing an oath of allegiance to Daesh, and he had gone as far as writing out attack plans and conducting reconnaissance of potential targets.
“We have dedicated units across the country who accept the extraordinary challenge of keeping the public safe from terrorist attacks. I have no doubt that Ludlow was fully intent on committing a serious violent act in the name of Daesh’s twisted ideology, and it is testament to the hard work of all involved that he has been jailed.
“Although this attack was foiled, we continue to work tirelessly to ensure that offenders such as Ludlow are brought to justice before they can commit their violent intentions.”
“We advise the public to remain vigilant and to report any suspicious behaviour or activity to police, in confidence on 0800 789 321 or gov.uk/ACT or in an emergency the public should always call 999.”