Self-styled Hull 'crime preventer' Pastor Mo jailed for witness intimidation

Mohammed Timbo outside Hull Crown Court Credit: MEN Media

An anti-knife campaigner who was once part of a notorious London gang has been jailed because of his frightening intimidation of a former friend.

Mohammed Timbo was involved in gang violence from the age of 14, but changed his ways and moved to Hull, where he became known as 'Pastor Mo' due to his links to a local church. But he found himself in trouble again after falsely blaming a friend to get out of fines for two motoring offences - before going on to threaten the same man after his lies were exposed.

35-year-old Timbo, admitted intimidating a witness and two offences of perverting the course of justice in relation to the same man. Hull Crown Court heard he had repeated lied about his friend because of a "bubbling resentment" towards him.

Michael Masson, prosecuting, said that Timbo gave false information to the police on two occasions, in 2019 and 2020, when he was stopped for motoring offences. On the first occasion, he gave his name as that of the friend, who was fined £100. On the second, when he was found to have no insurance, he gave the name of the same man again, who was fined £300.

When the true situation came to light, Timbo was prosecuted. He told police at the time: "I am a crime preventer and, on this occasion, I got it wrong."On August 15 this year, when the case came to Hull Crown Court, Timbo started shouting at the former friend as he was trying to leave the court building. Timbo told the man: "You are playing with fire. You should not have done this. There are people coming for you. You really should not have done this. You are playing with fire. Have a nice life."

The next day, August 16, Timbo repeatedly shouted "paedophile" at the man on the court's first-floor concourse and asked if he was afraid of him. The man said: "I don't have anything to say to you."Timbo sat down next to the man, made sexual allegations and said: "I'm going to sit right here. Are you afraid of me? You are a paedophile. I have got all the messages."After the threats and intimidation were reported to court staff and to the judge, Timbo was remanded in custody. Mr Masson said: "Specific threats of violence were not used. Threats took place across two days."There certainly was some distress and impact caused to the victim. He doesn't know why Timbo acted in this way."The falsely accused former friend said he was "deeply troubled by [Timbo's] actions and assertions". He was not a paedophile and was entirely innocent, the court heard.Timbo had convictions for 11 previous offences, including for dishonesty and driving matters. He had been banned from driving for six months in 2021.John Dunning, mitigating, said that Timbo had been in custody on remand since August 16. "He has many regrets about this sequence of events," he added.Timbo had previously described himself as a "crime preventer" and he had, in the past, been praised by the police. "It certainly seems that he was doing good works," said Mr Dunning. "Everything that he had done and might have done in the future has effectively been disparaged and devalued by these activities."

The driving force for Timbo's actions was his false belief that the other man was a paedophile. "It's extraordinarily stupid at a time when he is himself in jeopardy," said Mr Dunning.Timbo had a daughter and his family had moved to France without him through him being in custody. "In prison, he has been a prison monitor to advise other inmates," said Mr Dunning."He has used his time to reflect upon what has happened and to see how he can learn from it and how he can use that experience to assist others in the community. He would like to proffer an apology to everybody concerned, including the police."Judge Kate Rayfield said of the man that Timbo targeted: "It must have been an intimidating sight for him to be greeted with when he came to court. It was committed in the court building where witnesses must feel safe, otherwise they will not want to come to court to give evidence."Timbo had twice given the false name to police and had been found out. But instead of saying "I made a stupid mistake", he had blamed everybody but himself, including calling a police officer a liar, Judge Rayfield said."He was trying to solve a very big mess that he had deliberately created," the judge added. The other man wrongly received six penalty points on his driving licence for motoring offences that he did not commit, after being convicted in his absence.He later had to "set about trying to find out what happened" and he did this blindfolded, not knowing the true picture because Timbo did not tell him what he had done. It took the man eight months to get matters dropped and this caused him great stress.

"He felt betrayed by you, someone he thought was a friend," said Judge Rayfield. "If the criminal justice system is not upheld, everything falls apart. Our system must be jealousy guarded."She added: "You intimidated a witness in the very place where he had come to give evidence." The court had a duty to protect witnesses.Judge Rayfield said: "A message must go out that those who pervert the course of justice and intimidate witnesses must go immediately to prison. You have a bubbling resentment to him. I have no idea why because he is the victim in this case."Timbo was jailed for one year and was given a five-year restraining order.

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