Grenfell Tower: Woman guilty of stirring up racial hatred with Facebook posts

A woman who claimed on Facebook that Grenfell Tower victims were "burnt alive in a Jewish sacrifice" has been found guilty of stirring up race hate.

Tahra Ahmed, 51, posted "virulently" antisemitic conspiracy theories on social media, with one sent just days after the fire in West London that claimed the lives of 72 people.

An Old Bailey jury deliberated for eight hours to find her guilty – by a majority of 11 to one – of two charges of stirring up racial hatred by publishing written material.

During the trial, prosecutor Hugh French said Ahmed’s posts in January and June 2017 had "crossed the line as to what is acceptable in a liberal society".

On June 18 2017 – four days after the disaster – she posted a video on Facebook of the blaze and stated: "They were burnt alive in a Jewish sacrifice."

An earlier post, on January 26 2017, also set out an antisemitic conspiracy theory, jurors were told.

An examination of Ahmed’s Facebook account revealed a history of antisemitic comments, the court heard.

French said that, while Ahmed’s Facebook account demonstrated "strongly held beliefs", the two posts identified were "clear demonstrations of racial hatred".

Ahmed, from Tottenham, North London, denied wrongdoing, arguing her posts were political rather than antisemitic. She made no reaction in court as the jury delivered its verdicts on Friday.

Adjourning sentencing until February 11, Judge Mark Dennis ordered a pre-sentence report and allowed Ahmed continued bail.

"All sentencing options are open," he said. "Nothing must be read into that one way or another."