Baz Hockton

Baz Hockton is a British convicted criminal and terrorist.Daniel De Simone, “Whitemoor prison terrorist attackers 'known to be dangerous',” BBC News, October 7, 2020, https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-54457605. Hockton converted to Islam while incarcerated and was later radicalized at the Whitemoor high-security facility in Cambridgeshire, England.“HMP Whitemoor inmates 'wore fake suicide belts in officer attack',” BBC News, September 22, 2020, https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-cambridgeshire-54251086. On January 9, 2020, Hockton and fellow inmate Brusthom Ziamani injured three staff members at Whitemoor prison in an apparent terrorist attack, the first to occur inside a British jail.Daniel De Simone, “Whitemoor prison terrorist attackers 'known to be dangerous',” BBC News, October 7, 2020, https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-54457605. Hockton and Ziamani were found guilty of attempted murder and sentenced to life in prison in October 2020.“Whitemoor prison terror attack inmates handed life terms,” BBC News, October 8, 2020,  https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-cambridgeshire-54462241. Hockton was also sentenced to 10 years, to be served concurrently, for wounding another prisoner at Swaleside prison in Kent in April 2019.“Whitemoor prison terror attack inmates handed life terms,” BBC News, October 8, 2020,  https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-cambridgeshire-54462241.

Hockton has a criminal history. In 2013, he was sent as a teenager to a young offender’s institution for 16 months for breaking into and stealing from a home in Ramsgate, Kent. At the time, he already had 31 previous convictions.John Nurden, “Sheppey jail slasher Baz Hockton given another 10 years behind bars,” KentOnline, October 10, 2020, https://www.kentonline.co.uk/sheerness/news/slasher-attacked-fellow-inmate-235305/.

In October 2016, Hockton got into a minor argument with a man named Ricky Diggins. Hockton reportedly left the scene and returned with a steak knife, attacking and wounding Diggins.Paul Hopper, “Baz Hockton jailed for knife attack in Ramsgate,” KentOnline, June 7, 2017, https://www.kentonline.co.uk/thanet/news/minor-argument-led-to-knife-126808/. The following month on November 11, 2016, Hockton randomly assaulted several people at a KFC restaurant. Unprovoked, he slashed one person’s face, instigated a fight with another, and punched a woman repeatedly in the face for intervening.Paul Hooper, “Baz Hockton jailed for slashing and punching strangers outside KFC in Ramsgate,” KentOnline, December 23, 2016, https://www.kentonline.co.uk/thanet/news/knifeman-slashed-and-punched-strangers-117929/; Isabella Nikolic, “Islamic extremist serving 22-year jail term for plotting Lee Rigby style terror attack and Muslim convert are found guilty of attempting to murder prison officer with 'shank' while wearing fake suicide vests at HMP Whitemoor,” Daily Mail, October 7, 2020, https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8815543/amp/Islamic-extremists-wearing-fake-suicide-belts-guilty-attempting-murder-prison-officer.html. On December 23, 2016, Hockton was sent to prison for six years after admitting wounding with intent, assault causing bodily harm, assault by beating, having a knife in public, and possessing cannabis, in relation to the November 2016 incident.Paul Hooper, “Baz Hockton jailed for slashing and punching strangers outside KFC in Ramsgate,” KentOnline, December 23, 2016, https://www.kentonline.co.uk/thanet/news/knifeman-slashed-and-punched-strangers-117929/. While serving the six-year sentence, Hockton was sentenced to another nine years in prison and three years of probation for admitting wounding with intent, in relation to the October 2016 stabbing of Ricky Diggins.Paul Hopper, “Baz Hockton jailed for knife attack in Ramsgate,” KentOnline, June 7, 2017, https://www.kentonline.co.uk/thanet/news/minor-argument-led-to-knife-126808/.

On April 8, 2019, Hockton attacked another inmate at Swalesdale prison in Kent.John Nurden, “Sheppey jail slasher Baz Hockton given another 10 years behind bars,” KentOnline, October 10, 2020, https://www.kentonline.co.uk/sheerness/news/slasher-attacked-fellow-inmate-235305/. He pled guilty to the attack in early 2020, but was not charged until another trial that began in September 2020. Following the attack in Swalesdale, he was transferred to another prison, before being transferred to Whitemoor prison in Cambridgeshire.Daniel De Simone, “Whitemoor prison terrorist attackers 'known to be dangerous',” BBC News, October 7, 2020, https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-54457605.

Hockton had reportedly converted to Islam during his incarceration at another prison, prior to his arrival at Whitemoor, where he registered as Muslim. A prosecutor said that he was “corrupted into extremism” at the Whitemoor high-security facility.“HMP Whitemoor inmates 'wore fake suicide belts in officer attack',” BBC News, September 22, 2020, https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-cambridgeshire-54251086. There, he was exposed to ISIS ideology and came under the influence of fellow inmate Brusthom Ziamani, who provided Hockton with extremist material.Daniel De Simone, “Whitemoor prison terrorist attackers 'known to be dangerous',” BBC News, October 7, 2020, https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-54457605. Hockton reportedly possessed at least one copy of a lecture by Anwar al-Awlaki, which Ziamani had transcribed himself.Duncan Gardham, Matthew Bradley, and John Simpson, “Brusthom Ziamani: Terrorist watched Isis videos in jail cell,” Times (UK), October 9, 2020, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/brusthom-ziamani-terrorist-watched-isis-videos-in-jail-cell-dbpkk0tlx.

On January 9, 2020, Hockton and Ziamani launched an attack in Whitemoor prison using makeshift weapons.“HMP Whitemoor inmates 'wore fake suicide belts in officer attack',” BBC News, September 22, 2020, https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-cambridgeshire-54251086. They initially attempted to lure a female security officer into a storage space to get the pair a spoon, but she refused. Ziamani then called on officer Neil Trundle for assistance, who obliged and then was attacked from behind.Daniel De Simone, “Whitemoor prison terrorist attackers 'known to be dangerous',” BBC News, October 7, 2020, https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-54457605. Both inmates wore fake suicide belts and shouted “Allahu Akbar” during the attack.“HMP Whitemoor inmates 'wore fake suicide belts in officer attack',” BBC News, September 22, 2020, https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-cambridgeshire-54251086. Trundle was stabbed in the head and slashed on his neck, chest, and arms. The attackers also injured female prison officer Georgina Ibbotson and nurse Jane Cowels, who had attempted to assist Trundle.Isabella Nikolic, “Islamic extremist serving 22-year jail term for plotting Lee Rigby style terror attack and Muslim convert are found guilty of attempting to murder prison officer with 'shank' while wearing fake suicide vests at HMP Whitemoor,” Daily Mail, October 7, 2020, https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8815543/amp/Islamic-extremists-wearing-fake-suicide-belts-guilty-attempting-murder-prison-officer.html.

Following the attack, prison staff discovered extremist material in Hockton’s jail cell, including writings that established his desire to become a martyr.“Whitemoor prison terror attack inmates handed life terms,” BBC News, October 8, 2020,  https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-cambridgeshire-54462241. Hockton retained access to Facebook while in prison and, weeks before the attack, was found to have uploaded a mobile phone image of himself claiming that he would be home soon.Daniel De Simone, “Whitemoor prison terrorist attackers 'known to be dangerous',” BBC News, October 7, 2020, https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-54457605.

Hockton and Ziamani were charged with attempted murder for the attack at Whitemoor prison. During the trial, Hockton pled guilty to an alternative count of inflicting wounding with intent, but denied that he intended to kill Trundle.“HMP Whitemoor inmates 'wore fake suicide belts in officer attack',” BBC News, September 22, 2020, https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-cambridgeshire-54251086. On October 8, 2020, a judge sentenced Hockton, who was three years into a 12-year prison sentence for separate violent incidents, to life in prison. Hockton was also sentenced to 10 years, to be served concurrently, for wounding another prisoner at Swaleside prison in Kent in April 2019. He will be required to serve at least 23 years of his sentence before being eligible for parole.“Whitemoor prison terror attack inmates handed life terms,” BBC News, October 8, 2020,  https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-cambridgeshire-54462241. Hockton had pled guilty to the April 2019 prisoner assault earlier in 2020, but was only charged with the crime after the attack in Whitmoor prison.Daniel De Simone, “Whitemoor prison terrorist attackers 'known to be dangerous',” BBC News, October 7, 2020, https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-54457605.

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