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25 March 2022

Jury hears David Amess murder suspect give chilling account of repeatedly stabbing MP

25 March 2022

An alleged terrorist laughingly likened his response to killing Sir David Amess to “a Little Britain episode”, a court has heard.

Ali Harbi Ali, 26, stabbed the veteran Conservative MP 21 times after attending an appointment at a constituency surgery in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, on October 15 last year, the Old Bailey has heard.

He allegedly waved the bloody 12-inch long knife before being apprehended by two unarmed police officers.

On Friday, jurors at the Old Bailey watched videos of Ali’s police interviews in which he laughingly likened his comments to a television comedy.

In an initial urgent interview, Ali confirmed it was a “terror attack”, saying: “I mean, I guess yeah, I killed an MP. I done it, so yeah.”

He told police no-one else was involved or knew what he was planning.

Court artist sketch of Ali Harbi Ali in the dock at the Old Bailey (Elizabeth Cook/PA) (PA Wire)

In the next interview on October 16, Ali was reminded by Pc Jody Grogan of what he had said.

Ali responded: “Oh God, I sound stupid there.

“Nah, I just… the way I worded it. (chuckles) It sounds like a Little Britain episode. Um, I just… yeah, it sounded like what a terrorist act is.

“I went into an MP’s surgery and I killed him, so with the idea of vengeance in a way, so I will guess we’ll get into that a little bit later on.”

Ali described his previous ambition was to study medicine but by 2014 he said: “I pretty much already radicalised myself.”

He said he dropped out of university “to focus on whether or not I was going to make Hijrah (travel), which was my preference, or to carry out an act of domestic terrorism”.

By 2019, he had decided against going to Syria but 2020 was a “write-off year” because of coronavirus, he said.

He told police he “just ran out of excuses” after seeing there were a “lot of attacks up and down the country”.

He described targeting an MP because they were “accessible” and “numerous”.

On the attack on Sir David, he said: “I felt like one minute I was sat down at the table talking to him and the next he was, sort of, dead.

“But, yeah, it’s probably one of the strangest days… of my life now, y’know?”

He told police Sir David “knew straight away something was up” when he sat down for his meeting.

He said the MP thought it was “a sting” from the Labour Party and asked if he was being recorded.

Ali added: “Brass Eye, they did a thing on him, like, 14 years ago.”

Ali described stabbing Sir David repeatedly, saying: “The finisher was probably on his neck over here – at his jugular because when I pierced it, dark red blood came out.”

Sir David Amess was killed during a constituency surgery last October (PA) (PA Media)

Afterwards, Ali said he had Sir David’s blood on his fingernails and jacket.

“That seems a bit, I don’t know, satanical almost it’s weird… Obviously I’ve killed someone… There’s no doubt about that but it still doesn’t feel like it.

“Maybe it’s because I feel justified in what I’ve done.”

He said most of his worry was for how his family would be affected.

“The only reason I dropped the knife in front of the police officer was ‘cos my sister was on the phone crying her eyes out.

“It was an intense situation.”

Asked if he thought he had done a “good deed”, he said: “If I didn’t believe it was a good deed I wouldn’t do it.”

He said he did not choose Sir David because he was a Conservative, but because of a vote on air strikes on Syria in 2015.

“It wasn’t just him – I went to Mike Freer’s surgery in Finchley.”

He also looked at pictures of Michael Gove’s house in west London, saying he would “probably be the easiest one to get to”.

He said: “The reason why I started going to Parliament in the end was because he (Mr Gove) broke up with his wife so (the) house got sold, he found a new place, and that felt like the closing of a door.”

Ali told police he had bought a knife five years before and kept it in his bag throughout that summer.

He said officers would find a plan of attack on Mr Gove on his electronic devices.

He added: “But I never followed through with that plan.”

He used to go to the minister’s address as he was tipped to replace Theresa May as prime minister and subject to media attention.

He said: “It was laziness. It was…so convenient to go to that address but I just…I don’t know why I didn’t do that one.”

Ali, from Kentish Town, north London, has denied murder and preparation for terrorist acts.

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