Iraqi man in court over alleged threats to take rifle to local college
A case worker at the office of Dewsbury South MP Paula Sherriff has this week appeared in court to detail the moment an Iraqi man allegedly threatened to shoot her and students at a local college.
Julie Ward told Leeds Crown Court about the moment Jasem Saeed, 39, threatened her life if he did not obtain a passport during a meeting on Wednesday 9th March.
Saeed is said to have become aggressive and was shouting at Mrs Ward because he wanted to return to Iraq to see his family.
“He said if I didn’t give him his passport he would shoot me. This is when alarm bells started ringing for me,” Mrs Ward said
“I couldn’t see a gun – but I wasn’t to know he didn’t have one.”
After speaking with her officer manager, who subsequently warned Saeed to calm down or he would be asked to leave, she later returned with fellow case worker George Flesher.
Mrs Ward told the court that Saeed continued being aggressive and also threatened to shoot Mr Flesher.
She added: “He mentioned some type of rifle that he would go away and get – a rifle that had 30 rounds and he would go to a local college and shoot 29 students and then shoot himself.
“Although he had threatened us that was my main concern, if he did not get what he wanted, which I knew I couldn’t give him, that he would actually go into the community and do what he said he would do.”
Saeed was escorted out of the office with staff contacting the Home Office and West Yorkshire Police to report the incident.
In court this past week, Saeed admitted affray but denies two charges of making threats to kill in relation to Mrs Ward and Mr Flesher.
He claims he was misunderstood as his English was not very good, adding that he did not threaten to shoot either case worker or the students at a local college.
Instead, Saeed says he told staff that he wanted to travel back to Iraq to fight against Daesh. He said he told Mrs Ward that he would go to a college in Mosul that trained Daesh soldiers and kill 29 people there before killing himself.
Nick Adlington, prosecuting, told the jury: “You wanted them to be in such fear they would help you because you didn’t think they were trying enough.”
Saeed was previously granted indefinite leave to remain in the UK until 2025 yet had been attempting to obtain the necessary travel documents to visit home.
He had previously contacted the MP’s office but says nothing had happened.
In response to Mr Adlington’s claims, he said: “I am not a child to behave like a child,” adding: “That is your interpretation of this incident, not mine.”