Page last updated at 18:03 GMT, Thursday, 3 September 2009 19:03 UK

Fantasist 'hitman' sent to jail

Kurdish demonstator with image of  Abdullah Ocalan (Library)
Savas said he was moved to action by the capture of Abdullah Ocalan

A fantasist delivery driver who sparked a diplomatic security alert by pretending to be an assassin has been jailed for three-and-a-half months.

Idris Savas, 37, a Kurd living in Clapton, east London, claimed in phone calls he was going to kill the Turkish ambassador and two community figures.

Diplomatic protection squads were alerted, the "targets" put in safe houses and police leave cancelled.

Savas admitted making nuisance phone calls at Southwark Crown Court.

Savas, a long-term heroin addict, felt troubled about being "invisible" in society and pretended to be a hitman "to feel important".

His campaign was sparked by the arrest in south-east Turkey of Abdullah Ocalan, guerrilla leader of Kurdish separatist group the PKK, the court was told.

I am an assassin - I have been hired to kill you
Savas in call to embassy

Savas used a pay-as-you-go mobile phone to ring Sener Saglam, head of the Federation of Turkish Associations in London.

He claimed to be part of a cell set up by the PKK to assassinate both Mr Saglam and the Turkish ambassador Yigit Alpogan.

Savas then phoned embassy official Dr Yasar Colak to say: "I am an assassin - I have been hired to kill you."

An anti-terrorist operation was mounted and a two-day surveillance operation was launched, leading to the arrest of Savas.

'Peculiar offence'

He admitted making telephone calls for the purpose of causing annoyance, inconvenience or anxiety.

The court heard Savas's actions left police with a £60,000 overtime bill.

Jonathan Green, defending, called it a "peculiar offence" and said: "He was a powerless, ineffective man who felt he was invisible."

Judge Deborah Taylor said: "The fact the calls had been made over a period of time demonstrates pre-planning.

"Whilst it is said this was a cry for help, it caused anxiety due to the high-profile nature of the targets and the public cost was considerable.

"This was towards the top of the scale for this type of offence."



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