Life sentence for racist murder

Racist Pavlo Lapshyn who admitted murdering a grandfather from Birmingham and planting bombs near mosques in the West Midlands has been sentenced to life in prison with a minimum of 40 years.

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Mohammed Saleem's daughter speaks of devastation following his death

The daughter of Mohammed Saleem has spoken of her devastation following her father's death earlier this year.

Pavlo Lapshyn was today sentenced to life in jail for his murder with a minimum of forty years.

Police 'reluctant to call Saleem death Islamophobic'

The Muslim Council of Britain has expressed concern at what it says was a reluctance from the police to categorise the death of Mohammed Saleem as an Islamophobic attack.

Lapshyn’s murder of Mohammed Saleem is particularly worrying. It seems that the police were reluctant to categorise this as an Islamophobic attack. In his daughter’s view, the initial investigation was “evasive” and the family were forced to “put a lot of pressure to piece together the witness statements and CCTV footage to find a link.”

In the summer, the Muslim Council of Britain wrote to the Home Secretary highlighting the lacklustre response from those who protect us. While reports since suggest a greater response from our security agencies, there needs to be more action and reassurance.

– Muslim Council of Britain statement

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Muslim Council welcomes sentencing of Pavlo Lapshyn

Pavlo Lapshyn admitted to killing Mohammed Saleem and carrying out attacks on mosques Credit: West Midlands Police

The Muslim Council of Britain has released a statement welcoming the sentencing of Pavlo Lapshyn, who has been sentenced to life in prison for the murder of a Birmingham pensioner and for terror offences.

But the council warned of the importance of challenging anti-Muslim hatred.

The council says: "There are many lessons to be drawn from this case: the response of the authorities, and our collective unwillingness to treat anti-Muslim hatred seriously. Lapshyn's terrorist activities should not be seen on isolation.

"There are some who will view his activities as those of a lone wolf. But in a summer that saw an unprecedented rise in attacks on Islamic institutions, it is important for all of us to challenge anti-Muslim hatred, just as we challenge those who wrongly use Islam to carry out acts of violence."

Pavlo Lapshyn researched right wing and bomb parts sites

Pavlo Lapshyn admitted to killing Mohammed Saleem and carrying out attacks on mosques Credit: West Midlands Police

Pavlo Lapshyn, who will now serve life in prison with a minimum of 40 years for the murder of a Birmingham pensioner, was researching right wing supremacist websites as well as websites which supplied parts for bombs.

Lapshyn also took a picture of himself holding the large hunting knife that he used to murder Mohammed Saleem.

The sentencing remarks from the judge who presided over the case can be read here.

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Grandfather killed by 'gutless coward' Pavlo Lapshyn

Mohammed Saleem's daugher Shazia Khan was among relatives who watched from the public gallery as sentence was passed.

Mr Justice Sweeney read her victim impact statement that said the effect of her father's violent death was "a rollercoaster experience where the ride will never end".

The shock and sadness of the reality is impossible to accept, yet alone accept and move on. We can't move forward, the murder has disabled our minds in every emotional way possible.

Dad did not die of old age or illness, he died because he was stabbed violently in the back by a gutless coward who did not have the courage to face him before he took his life away.

She said that her mother cannot accept the death of her husband of more than 50 years, and is haunted by thoughts that she could have saved him.

Our mother weeps to this day. She was minutes away from him. She could have saved him and she will always blame herself for this.

Mosque bombs 'could have been even more dangerous'

The judge who is sentencing Pavlo Lapshyn says errors Lapshyn made when constructing bombs due to detonate outside a number of mosques means they could have been even more dangerous than they were.

Pavlo Lapshyn is currently listening to Judge Sweeney's comments as he is sentenced for the murder of Birmingham pensioner Mohammed Saleem and for plotting a series of explosions outside mosques in the West Midlands.

Lapshyn is showing no emotion as he listens to the comments through a Russian interpreter.

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