Sunday 25 March 2018


Thank goodness for social media - and The Sun

I've just spotted a tweet that told me something I didn't know about the Parsons Green terrorist Ahmed Hassan. Having never heard it before, I have to say I doubted it, but I Googled around and found an article in The Sun that confirmed it. 

What that tweet said was that the judge had expressed doubts about his age and that the BBC was "not reporting facts again".

The judge said:
I'm satisfied that you lied about your date of birth on your arrival to glean the special privileges accorded to children entering the UK. 
I'm satisfied that you're older than 18 but sentence you on the basis you are no older than 21. 
You cynically exploited to the full the generosity and naivety of the system and those looking after and helping you.
The BBC has long reported the 'fact' that Hassan was 16 when he claimed asylum in the UK and their report on his sentencing last week still boldly asserts that he's an "18-year-old" and a "teenager" ("from Surrey"). That same report quotes from the judge but does not quote anything to do with his doubts about his age. 

This question about the Calais migrants claiming to be children but not being children is something the BBC has shown itself to be sensitive to in the past - in the sense that they've 'sensitively' played down its importance - and here they seem to have done so again, even to the point of possibly deliberately not reporting this aspect of Ahmed Hassan's sentencing. 

Except that....

....breaking news....breaking news....

....using TV Eyes to track every mention of it on BBC TV, it turns out that BBC One's News at Six did report it. June Kelly's report included the fact that the judge "said that Hassan had lied he was 16 when he arrived in the UK so he could be classed as a child migrant". And that report was rebroadcast on the BBC News Channel twice more that evening...though it wasn't included and the judge's comments about the terrorist's age weren't mentioned on BBC One's News at Ten. Nor did Richard Lister, the BBC News Channel reporter who covered the sentencing, mention anything about it during his various appearances on the News Channel after the sentencing that afternoon. 

So that's the main point of this post derailed somewhat. It turns out that it wasn't completely censored by the BBC after all. 


  1. Wow! Thanks for that fact Craig. I had previously voiced by suspicions about his age but had never heard that quote from the judge...the whole of the MSM seems to have played that down as I would have thought it would be one of the key lessons to draw from this case.

    As for the "BBC One Mention" ploy - how many times have we come across that before?

    And doesn't it also call into question his "prize student award" that the BBC love to trumpet (given he could easily be 5 years older than the other pupils)?

    Funny though that the judge sees fit to criticise the naivety of others while informing the world that the Koran is a book of peace and Islam is a religion of peace.

    1. I knew you'd be interested to hear that!

      As you say, we've been here many times before as far as the "BBC One Mention" ploy goes.

      As for June Kelly, I'm glad it was her reporting this and not Dominic Casciani or Daniel Sandford. It's very unlikely that that either of those two would have given even a sentence to the age question.


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