27 October 2021

Man convicted of glorifying and encouraging terrorist acts

27 October 2021

A man has been found guilty of terrorism offences including glorifying and encouraging terrorist acts.

Sam Imrie, 24, posted statements on social media platform Telegram and on Facebook which glorified terrorist acts by mass murderers Brenton Tarrant – who killed 51 people at two mosques in New Zealand in 2019 – and Anders Breivik, who killed 69 people on the Norwegian island of Utoya in 2011.

Imrie was convicted following trial at the High Court in Edinburgh of eight of the nine charges he faced, including two under the Terrorism Act.

You will be receiving a sentence of some length when you appear at Glasgow on November 24

Imrie, of Glenrothes, Fife, was found not guilty of one charge under the Terrorism Act of posting statements on Telegram suggesting he was going to attack the Fife Islamic Centre in his home town and driving there with a can of petrol.

He was also convicted of possessing extreme pornography, including indecent images of children and an image involving a human corpse, and of setting fire and of driving while unfit through drink or drugs.

On July 4 2019, Imrie wilfully set fire to the derelict Strathore Lodge, Strathore Road, Thornton, and on the same day set some scrub and headstones ablaze at St Drostans Cemetery, Markinich.

Giving evidence, his mother Joyce Imrie said he told her: “Mum, I’ve done something really stupid, I pretended to set a mosque on fire.”

Imrie claimed he was trying to gain approval from neo-Nazis on Telegram.

The derelict building the guilty man set fire to (COPFS/PA)

The court heard that a laptop and phone were found in his bedroom with images of sexual activity with mutilated women in a folder named “dead girl pics”.

Judge Lord Mulholland adjourned sentencing for background reports and told Imrie: “You will be receiving a sentence of some length when you appear at Glasgow on November 24.”

During the trial the court heard that Imrie’s computer password was N***** Killer and his bedroom wardrobe was adorned with swastikas.

On Monday his defence advocate, Jim Keegan QC, told the court his client started to go off the rails at the age of 14 after he was attacked in a park and found it hard to attend school.

Imrie took to drinking vodka and missing classes, eventually becoming a recluse.

From playing violent video games such as Call Of Duty, he then began posting on far-right websites from his bedroom.

He became fascinated by the Nazis and set his screensaver as a photograph of Adolf Hitler addressing a Nuremberg rally.

Following his conviction, Police Scotland Assistant Chief Constable Pat Campbell said: “Sam Imrie was a socially isolated individual who displayed hateful intentions and the potential consequences of his actions do not bear thinking about.”

He urged people concerned about anyone displaying extremist views, signs of being radicalised or involvement in terrorist activity to contact police.

He added: “It should be stressed that cases such as Imrie’s are rare in Scotland and our officers remain absolutely committed to working with our partners to protect our communities.”

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