BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese Welsh

 You are in: UK: England
Front Page 
Northern Ireland 
UK Politics 
Talking Point 
In Depth 

Commonwealth Games 2002

BBC Sport

BBC Weather

Friday, 28 December, 2001, 15:11 GMT
Bomb suspect's mother reveals 'concern'
Lesley Hughes and husband Bill Irvine
Mrs Hughes had no knowledge of the allegations
The British mother of the alleged "shoe bomber", Richard Reid, has told of her shock at accusations that he tried to blow up a transatlantic flight to America.

Outside her home in Frome, Somerset, Lesley Hughes read a prepared statement.

As any mother would be, I am obviously deeply shocked and concerned about the allegations made against Richard

Lesley Hughes
Mother of Richard Reid
Her 28-year-old son is due to face a US court on Friday when a federal judge is expected to set his bail.

He is accused of trying to ignite explosives hidden in his black suede basketball sports shoes, during an American Airlines flight from Paris to Miami earlier this month.

Difficult situation

"Other than what I have heard or read in the media, I have no knowledge of this matter," she told the BBC.

"As any mother would be, I am obviously deeply shocked and concerned about the allegations made against Richard, but have no further comment to make."

She said they needed time to come to terms with the situation and asked the media to respect the difficulty of their postion.

Mrs Hughes, who appeared alongside her husband Bill Irvine, refused to comment on how long it had been since she has seen her son.

His father, Robin Reid, who is still believed to be living in London, told the Daily Mail his son must have been "coaxed" into the alleged bomb attack.

"My son is a determined boy and I can imagine him being determined enough to blow himself to bits," he said.


But he said could not believe his son would want to hurt anyone else unless he had been "brainwashed".

He said he only found out about his son's involvement when he saw his picture printed in newspapers on Christmas Eve.

US officials are investigating claims that Richard Reid, formerly of Brixton, south London, may have visited the terror training camps of al-Qaeda chief Osama Bin Laden.

The claims came as it emerged that Mr Reid had attended a mosque in Brixton, where he had aroused suspicions because of his interest in jihad, or holy war, and his increasingly radical beliefs.

See also:

27 Dec 01 | Americas
New leads in shoe bomb case
Links to more England stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more England stories