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Court told terror suspect plotted jihad attacks from jail cell

Tukiterangi Lawrence schemed to kill prison officials from his cell in Goulburn's  high-security prison.

Tukiterangi Lawrence schemed to kill prison officials from his cell in Goulburn's high-security prison. Photo: ABC

A quadriplegic prisoner has been jailed for six years for conspiring to wage “violent jihad” against corrective services staff

Tukiterangi Lawrence, 27, who converted to Islam as a teenager, was convicted earlier this year on two counts of planning or preparing for a terrorist act.

He was charged with the offences after his cell in Goulburn’s supermax prison was raided, when he was in custody for unrelated offences.

Lawrence was engaged in a “serious attempt” to lay the groundwork for a violent attack on custodial officers by initially finding their home addresses.

Justice Mark Ierace outlined the maximum sentence for the offences was life imprisonment.

He noted Lawrence’s extensive history of chronic drug dependence and repeated exposure to violence as factors for his offending, as well as his guilty plea.

The judge read out many of the texts between Lawrence and his associates where they talked about obtaining weapons, following sharia law and contacting key figures of Islamic State in the Middle East.

Converting to Islam as a teenager, Lawrence had previously described videos of beheadings by Islamic State as “beautiful”.

“His prospects of rehabilitation … are poor,” Justice Ierace said while quoting from expert assessments of Lawrence’s mental state.

The defendant appeared via videolink from Long Bay Hospital Prison wearing a green shirt, and listened keenly to the judgment.

He was jailed for six years with a non-parole period of four years and six months.

Lawrence will be eligible for parole on November 22 2025, with his full sentence running to May 22 2027.

-with AAP

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