A father of two jihadist terrorists killed in Syria has been jailed for 18 months after threatening to have his estranged wife shot if she gave evidence against him.
Former mosque leader Abubaker Deghayes, 50, from Saltdean, Brighton, sent a series of messages to his spouse demanding she drop the case.
The Libyan origin male was found guilty at Blackfriars Crown Court in London of attempting to pervert the course of justice and attempted witness intimidation of his former wife and her brother, police said.
He was charged and then cleared of assaulting wife Einas Abulsayen, who said he rammed her face into the floor and pushed his fingers up her nose in an attempted exorcism.
It was claimed he dislocated the woman’s shoulder whilst trying to “get the demon out”.
Mr Deghayes featured heavily in the mainstream media in 2014 after speaking publicly about his sons going to Syria, claiming he did not give his “consent” to them and insisting they had gone to defend “those who are weak” and deliver aid.
During the trial, Deghayes was exempted from standing when magistrates left the courtroom as his Muslim faith forbade him from standing “for anybody else other than god”.
Sentencing Deghayes, Judge Rajeev Shetty told him he “appear[ed] rather arrogant with no respect for the secular nature of our laws,” according to the Daily Mail.
Adding: “You have refused to stand with the court opening and closing. This does not insult me but insults our proud legal system.”
He continued: “You had no respect for a police investigation that was going to be decided by a court and you chose to intervene knowing that your wife was susceptible to pressure due to her involvement with the community and her love for you.”
Of his children who are still alive, two of his sons are in prison for drug dealing and one is missing in war-torn Syria. The dead pair is thought to have fought for Al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra.
Detective Constable Jenny Pietersen said: “Sussex Police and the criminal justice system takes any interference with witnesses in court cases seriously and I believe the sentence Deghayes was given reflects this.”