Man jailed for threatening to kill UK's Prince Harry

LONDON Mon Feb 10, 2014 12:31pm EST

Britain's Prince Harry attends the Walking with the Wounded South Pole Allied Challenge 2013 British team departure event at Trafalgar Square in London November 14, 2013. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

Britain's Prince Harry attends the Walking with the Wounded South Pole Allied Challenge 2013 British team departure event at Trafalgar Square in London November 14, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Stefan Wermuth

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LONDON (Reuters) - A British Muslim convert who told police he wanted to kill Prince Harry was jailed for three years on Monday after pleading guilty to threatening murder, police said.

Ashraf Islam, 31, was told by the judge who sentenced him at Isleworth Crown Court that his plan had been "vague and unlikely to succeed", but he nevertheless posed a danger to the public, according to reports in British media.

Police said Islam, who was born Mark David Townley and changed his name around 2010 after converting to Islam, had entered a police station in west London on May 23, 2013, and said he intended to kill Prince Harry the following day.

Police searched the hotel room, where he had just checked in after flying into London from Thailand, and seized his laptop. They found no weapon. Islam, originally from Belfast in Northern Ireland, had no fixed abode at the time.

Media reported that Islam had said he felt he had a "moral right to judge" Prince Harry, a captain in the British army, because he disagreed with the actions of the military.

Prince Harry, grandson to Queen Elizabeth and fourth in line to the throne, has carried out two tours of duty in Afghanistan, the most recent as an attack helicopter pilot.

Islam's defense lawyer told the court he had a personality disorder, according to media reports.

Islam made the threat on the day after soldier Lee Rigby was murdered in broad daylight by two British Muslim converts on a busy street in southeast London close to an army barracks.

News of the killing and its aftermath dominated British media headlines for days. The killers, Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale, were convicted of murder on December 19 and will be sentenced on February 20.

(Reporting by Estelle Shirbon; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

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