Self-styled 'soldier of Allah' jailed after hospital explosion threat and speaking of bomb attack on Manchester's Trafford Centre
A MAN who suggested bombing Furness General Hospital and Manchester's Trafford Centre has been sentenced to 18 weeks in prison.
Leroy McCarthy, 22, of Hall Street, Barrow, was arrested on Saturday after a series of "offensive, anti-semitic and homophobic" Facebook posts to his 340 online friends.
He appeared at South Cumbria Magistrates' Court in Barrow today, October 9, charged with malicious communications.
Mr Lee Dacre, prosecuting, said: "He would have been here today on a terrorism charge but for the settings on his Facebook. It is a legal technicality."
McCarthy, using the name Abdullah Mahmood, said: "They wouldn't be able to evacuate all of FGH's patients in time before at least one of the three explosions."
Mr Dacre said: "When he was interviewed by police he asked what happened to freedom of speech, and said if he was going to bomb somewhere it would be the Trafford Centre."
McCarthy, who also called himself a soldier of Allah, has 14 months left on licence after being released from custody in June after assaulting his partner.
He also posted: "14 months then it's passport and off to join my people's cause. I cannot wait to turn my back on the UK."
Another post called murdered soldier Lee Rigby a "white coward who invades countries and rapes people", and said "free my brother".
Leroy McCarthy, also known as Abdullah Mahmood. Image Leroy McCarthy/Facebook
Ms Maureen Fawcett, defending, said: "He accepts the postings would have been grossly offensive and upsetting, but they were taken out of context.
"He had fallen out with his sister who works at the hospital.
"He has also never been abroad on a lads holiday and he wanted to leave the UK to get his life back on track."
Other posts were described as anti-semitic and homophobic.
Ms Fawcett said: "He has pleaded guilty today and the officers who have been with him actually thanked him for how open and frank he has been.
"He reverted to become a Muslim when he was released from prison in 2015 and he is more peaceful since then. He had taken about 20 valium on the day he posted these.
"He was homeless and struggling to get by. He has got a flat for the first time since being released and is due to move to Egerton Court on Wednesday."
McCarthy was also ordered to pay £85 costs and a victim surcharge of £115.