Mother of Jihadi Jack: My career and life is in ruins

The mother of a Muslim convert dubbed Jihadi Jack has told how her life is "in ruins", while his father said their conviction for funding terrorism "destroys me".
His parents were outside court last week. Picture: PAHis parents were outside court last week. Picture: PA
His parents were outside court last week. Picture: PA

Organic farmer John Letts, 58, and former Oxfam fundraising officer Sally Lane, 57, walked free from court on Friday after being given a suspended sentence.

The Old Bailey heard they ignored repeated warnings their son had joined Islamic State in Syria and sent - or tried to send - a total of £1,723 for him despite being told by police three times not to.

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They were found guilty of one charge of funding terrorism in September 2015, but cleared of the same charge in December 2015. A third charge relating to an attempt to send money in

January 2016 was ordered to lie on file after jurors could not agree.

In a statement following their trial the parents maintained they did "what any parent would do if they thought that their child's life was in danger".

Lane has now told the Mail On Sunday that while she is "immensely pleased" not to be in prison, her life is "in ruins".

She told the newspaper: "My career and my life are in ruins. The people I used to work with don't return my calls. Above all, Jack is still a prisoner."

She said she thinks about her son, who is being held by Kurdish authorities in northern Syria accused of being a member of IS, "every second of every day".

She said: "I feel guilty when it's a nice, sunny day, because Jack is shut up in a room with no access to the open air. My fear now is they are trying to make him so ill he either dies or kills himself."

John Letts told the paper: "Being found to have supported terrorism is a tremendous blow. It's going to have a huge impact. Inside, it destroys me."

He added that he will "never give up" on his son.

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The trial had heard how the pair refused to believe their 18-year-old son had become an extremist when they allowed him to travel, and following the verdicts they said they remain "committed to help Jack return home".

Jack Letts has admitted he was at one time prepared to carry out a suicide attack, telling the BBC: "I used to want to at one point, believe it or not. Not a vest. I wanted to do it in a car. I said if there's a chance, I will do it."

He also said in the interview, which took place in October last year but was not broadcast until after his parents' trial had ended, that he realised he had been "an enemy of Britain" but added that he had made "a big mistake".