Mum and daughter jailed for funding the Islamic State group

Statue of Justice stands on top of the Central Criminal Court building
Stella Oyella and Vanessa Atim sent hundreds of pounds to a relative who had joined the Islamic State group

A mother and daughter have been jailed for funding terrorism in Syria.

Stella Oyella, 53, and Vanessa Atim, 32, both of Newham, east London, sent hundreds of pounds to a relative who had joined the Islamic State (IS) group.

They were found guilty of entering into an arrangement to fund Joseph Ogaba between March and October 2017.

Judge Mark Dennis sentenced Atim to three years and nine months and Oyella to three years.

Ogaba was Oyella's brother who had converted to Islam.

He was a 30-year-old self-employed computer programmer when he left home in Finsbury Park, north London, to join the terrorist group in September 2014.

'Committed individual'

The judge said the women were not motivated by IS's extremist beliefs but wanted to help Ogaba, who was manipulating their close family bond and said he was "desperate" for money to cover his general expenses.

There was no evidence the money was used for weapons or that the women, who are Roman Catholic and of previous good character, wanted to support terrorism.

The judge told them: "You both turned a blind eye to what your brother and uncle was engaged in and in so doing you were in effect giving support for terrorist activity which in 2017 he was still associated with.

"However, taken that your motivation was not ideological or a desire to engage in such activities, you knew what you were doing was wrong and could get you into trouble."

The women should have known that Ogaba was a "committed individual" who had left his home and was prepared to support jihad, the court heard.

A burst of swearing broke out from the public gallery as the sentence was passed and calls of "stay strong" were also shouted by supporters as the women were led from the dock.

Jurors were told Ogaba was eventually captured and held in a detention camp until his death around July 2022.

Commander Dominic Murphy, who leads the Metropolitan Police's Counter Terrorism Command, said after sentencing: "These women went to great lengths to first arrange, and then distance themselves from money transfers to Ogaba.

"This case shows how we work with our international partners to close the net on people who support terrorist activity, no matter how much time has passed."

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