Mark Heywood QC leading Ben Temple for the Prosecution at first instance, the Court of Appeal and the House of Lords where David Perry QC was also instructed.
J was found to be in possession of an extensive library of religious, political, ideological, military and extreme Islamist material some of which had an express terrorist purpose, digitally stored on his laptop, I-Pod, telephone and numerous digital disks comprising several hundred hours of audio and video material and several thousand pages of documentation. J was charged with possessing articles for a purpose connected with terrorism, contrary to section 57(1) of the Terrorism Act 2000. J pleaded guilty to four counts contrary to section 58 of the Act. The Court of Appeal then handed down judgment in R. v. K  EWCA Crim.185 on the point of reasonable excuse under section 58(3). J, having applied successfully to vacate his pleas, claiming erroneous legal advice in the light of R. v. K, re-entered not guilty pleas at a preparatory hearing in the course of which the Recorder of Birmingham, regarding himself bound by R. v. K, ruled on a question of law formulated by the Crown that, by reference to R. v. K, under section 58 where a reasonable excuse is raised the prosecution must prove a terrorist purpose.
Leave to appeal to the House of Lords was granted. The three certified questions raised substantial, complex issues. The concept of reasonable excuse had to be considered across numerous statutory contexts. The Crown’s appeals (G and J) were allowed and J, a year after he had first done so, pleaded guilty to four offences contrary to section 58.