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Man who ‘took pressure-cooker bomb into hospital’ has trial halted

Mohammed Farooq, 28, was arrested at St James’s Hospital in Leeds after a patient talked him out of detonating the device, a jury was told during his trial at Sheffield Crown Court (PA)
Mohammed Farooq, 28, was arrested at St James’s Hospital in Leeds after a patient talked him out of detonating the device, a jury was told during his trial at Sheffield Crown Court (PA)

A clinical support worker who took a viable pressure-cooker bomb into hospital has had his trial halted and the jury has been discharged.

Mohammed Farooq, 28, was arrested at St James’s Hospital in Leeds after a patient talked him out of detonating the device, a jury was told during his trial at Sheffield Crown Court.

Farooq, from Leeds, has admitted a number of offences, including having a pressure-cooker bomb “with intent to endanger life or cause serious injury to property”, but denies preparing acts of terrorism.

On Thursday, the judge, Mr Justice Hilliard, told jurors the trial could not continue.

The jury of four women and eight men was discharged and the judge told Farooq his trial will be listed again for some time next year.

St James's Hospital, Leeds
St James’s Hospital, Leeds (Alamy/PA)

During the trial, which began at the end of October, jurors were told the pressure-cooker bomb was a viable device, modelled on one used in the 2013 Boston Marathon attack.

Prosecutors said the defendant also intended to attack RAF Menwith Hill, a military base used by the United States in North Yorkshire, and made at least two visits to the site with the bomb.

The jury was told Farooq had a grievance against several of his former colleagues at St James’s Hospital, where he worked, and “had been conducting a poison-pen campaign against them”.

Gul Nawaz Hussain KC, defending, told the court his client was “ready and willing” to detonate the homemade bomb at the hospital because of a “sense of anger and grievance” towards work colleagues but was not motivated by Islamist extremism and not radicalised.

The trial also heard from former St James’s Hospital patient Nathan Newby, who said he talked to Farooq for hours in the hospital grounds before the defendant eventually allowed him to call police.

Mr Newby told the jury he started talking to Farooq because he thought he was upset and wanted to cheer him up.

He said that after Farooq showed him the bomb in a bag and told him his plan to explode it in a cafe full of nurses, Mr Newby convinced him to move away from the hospital entrance, where they talked.

Farooq sat in the dock on Thursday flanked by four officers from Wakefield Prison.

He was told he will remain in custody until his new trial.