Jailed terrorist admits to prison attack

·1-min read

A woman serving a decades-long jail sentence has pleaded guilty to engaging in a terrorist act in prison.

Momena Shoma is serving a 42-year prison sentence in Melbourne's Dame Phyllis Frost women's prison.

Shoma, 28, on Monday faced the Victorian Supreme Court, where she pleaded guilty to engaging in a terrorist act after attacking another inmate at the Ravenhall jail in October 2020.

She also pleaded guilty to membership of a terrorist organisation.

Shoma was jailed in June 2019 for 42 years, with a minimum of 31-and-a-half years, after admitting to engaging in a terror act in February the year before.

The Bangladeshi student was in Australia on a student visa for eight days when she attacked Roger Singaravelu, her homestay host, using a 25cm kitchen knife she packed.

She told police she did it the name of terrorist organisation Islamic State and hoped Mr Singaravelu would die.

Justice Lesley Ann Taylor then described Shoma's intentions as chilling and repugnant.

"They have sent ripples of horror throughout the Australian community, but they do not make you a martyr. They make you an undistinguished criminal," Justice Taylor said.

"You should not mistake your passing notoriety for importance, nor equate it with achievement.

"This Australian family, generous enough to open their home to a stranger, now suffers physically, emotionally and financially."

Shoma is expected to face the Victorian Supreme Court for a plea hearing related to the prison attack on Thursday.

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