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Sevdet Besim sentenced to 10 years' prison over planned Anzac Day terror attack

ABC News ABC News 5/09/2016
Sevdet Ramadan Besim, 19, had planned to run down and behead a police officer at an Anzac Day march in 2015. © AAP Image/Instagram Sevdet Ramadan Besim, 19, had planned to run down and behead a police officer at an Anzac Day march in 2015.

A Melbourne teenager who planned an Anzac Day terrorist attack has been sentenced to 10 years in prison at the Victorian Supreme Court.

Sevdet Ramadan Besim, 19, had planned to run down and behead a police officer at an Anzac Day march in 2015.

He pleaded guilty to doing an act in preparation, or planning for, a terrorist attack — an offence which carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

In sentencing Justice Michael Croucher described the plans as "evil" and designed to "strike fear into the community".

But he told the court there was evidence Besim wanted to pull out from his plans, and that he was young, intelligent and had good prospects for rehabilitation.

He said Besim had the strong support of his family and friends, a large number of whom were in court for the sentencing.

Besim had been seeing a moderate imam and would also be going through a reasonably lengthy de-radicalisation program, Justice Croucher told the court.

Justice Croucher said he did not want to crush that with a heavy sentence.

He said it was clear Besim had been radicalised by older extremists who had influenced him at quite a vulnerable time of his life.

Besim receives reduced sentence for guilty plea

Besim, from Hallam in Melbourne's south-east, had discussed his plans with a British teenager, who is now serving a five-year jail term after pleading guilty to inciting the Anzac Day terrorist plot.

The court previously heard that Besim and the UK teen also discussed painting a kangaroo in Islamic State symbols, packing its pouch with explosives and letting it loose in the city.

Besim was a friend of Numan Haider, who was shot dead by counter-terrorism officers after he attacked them with a knife in Endeavour Hills Police Station in 2014.

He planned the terrorist attack in an "immature response" to the death of his friend, his defence lawyer told the court earlier this year.

He was arrested in counter-terrorism raids a week before the public holiday last year.

Besim, who would have received a 15-year sentence had he not pleaded guilty, will be eligible for parole in seven-and-a-half years.

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