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Last Updated: Friday, 25 November 2005, 14:47 GMT
Fake fifth London bomber jailed
Aldgate train after bombing
A bus and three trains were targeted on 7 July
A man has been jailed after admitting falsely claiming to be the fifth bomber in the 7 July attacks on London.

Imran Yaqub Patel, 27, of Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, was jailed for four months after pleading guilty to wasting 4,070 hours of police time.

Leeds Magistrates' Court heard police checked out the story after Patel spoke to a News of the World journalist.

District Judge David Kitson said the offence had been born "purely out of greed", but had enormous consequences.

The four bombings in London on 7 July killed 52 people. Three of the bombers came from West Yorkshire.

Patel was arrested last month by Scotland Yard's SO13 anti-terrorist squad at his home.

It's difficult to see how any offence of this nature could be more serious than that which you have committed
District Judge David Kitson

After his conviction the head of the Metropolitan Police's anti-terrorist branch, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Peter Clarke, said: "On becoming aware of his claims, we had no option but to launch a full investigation into what were the most serious allegations, including claims that he knew of another person who was ready to launch an attack in Britain.

"This man made up a pack of lies which were clearly borne out of greed without any consideration of the enormous impact and further distress they would have on the injured and the families and friends of the victims."

The News of the World had tipped off the police after being approached by Patel, who was asking for money for his story.

Karen Jones, prosecuting, told the court anti-terrorist officers were diverted for six days between 22 and 27 October investigating Patel's claims.

Judge Kitson said: "It's difficult to see how any offence of this nature could be more serious than that which you have committed.

"It came three months after one of the worst atrocities committed on the British mainland and led to survivors and relatives of those that were killed having to relive their experiences.

'Deterrent'

"A custodial sentence is necessary to act as a deterrent to any others who may have similar intentions in mind."

Miss Jones told the court Patel claimed to have met the 7 July bombers and had discussed targets in Britain.

Patel sent 17 e-mails to the News of the World's associate news editor Ian Edmondson giving a "taster" of the information he claimed to have and then asking how much they were willing to pay for it.

He effectively made the whole thing up to make some money. He just did it to make a few quid
Karen Jones
Prosecutor
He met Mr Mahmood, the paper's investigations editor, on 20 October for a two-hour interview and was paid 200 as compensation for losing a day's work.

During the interview he claimed to have handled explosives and to have been to a terrorist training camp in Pakistan.

The News of the World also agreed to pay him 5,000, although that sum was never paid because the paper tipped off the police.

On 23 October the paper ran an article under the headline "We expose Brit extremist linked to evil 7/7 monsters".

The article claimed Patel only decided not to join the bomb plot "when they suggested one of their targets should be a school where the victims would be innocent children".

Wife wept

Miss Jones said there was no evidence he had ever met any of the bombers and she added: "The whole thing had been made up as he went along. He effectively made the whole thing up to make some money. He just did it to make a few quid."

Patel, who had no previous convictions, smiled at his wife, who was weeping in the public gallery, as he was led from the court in handcuffs to begin his sentence.

Earlier his solicitor, Peter Turner, said Patel was devastated by what had happened and added: "He has brought the community into disrepute and his family are being treated as responsible."

Mr Turner said his client was very sorry to have "caused the victims of the bombings to revisit their distress".



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