Islamic preacher Thorne’s sentence reduced
Controversial Islamic preacher Junaid Thorne has had his jail sentence for flying under a fake name cut to a minimum of four months at an appeal hearing.
The 26-year-old, who was on bail during the appeal of a six-month minimum sentence, hugged a crying female supporter before being taken into custody at Sydney’s District Court on Thursday afternoon.
One of his co-offenders, Mostafa Shiddiquzzaman, was also appealing his five-month sentence and has been referred for an intensive corrections order, under which a sentence is served in the community under supervision.
Thorne, Shiddiquzzaman and Omer Issak boarded a Perth to Sydney via Brisbane flight with tickets booked last December under false names.
Shiddiquzzaman bought tickets through Flight Centre with his credit card and the frequent flyer number on the booking was linked to Thorne.
Shiddiquzzaman flew under the name Prince Bhopal, Thorne as Mathew Jacobs and Issak travelled as Moses Bangura.
Judge Andrew Scotting found Thorne, who was initially sentenced in June after pleading guilty to several charges, hadn’t fully accepted responsibility for the offences.
He said the plan was likely Thorne’s and didn’t accept the men’s argument that they had flown under bogus names to avoid media attention.
“The offenders sought to avoid coming to the attention of the authorities,” he said.
Thorne’s four-month minimum sentence will expire on December 5 while Shiddiquzzaman will return to court in October to find out if he can serve his sentence under an intensive corrections order.
Issak, 22, was sentenced in Perth in May and given a 12-month community-based order.
Thorne has sparked controversy in the past by expressing his support for the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris and slain teen terror suspect Numan Haider.