‘At least you still have a good head of hair!’ Hook-handed hate cleric Abu Hamza strikes up a bizarre pen pal relationship with a gay priest who is friends with Jeremy Corbyn
- Rev Stephen Coles assures hate preacher ‘you are in my prayers’ in the letters
- The north London vicar calls his relationship with the extremist a ‘pastoral’ one
- Hamza is currently serving a life sentence in isolation at a supermax prison
- He is appealing against the nature of his incarceration on human rights grounds
Islamist hate preacher Abu Hamza has been exchanging letters with a gay priest while serving time in an American ‘supermax’ prison.
Rev Stephen Coles, who is vicar of St Thomas the Apostle in Finsbury Park, North London, is a friend of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and has been pictured with the politician.
Hamza has railed against gay people in vile diatribes, but the hook-handed cleric has struck been writing to Rev Coles while serving a life sentence in solitary confinement ADX Florence, Colarado, for terrorism offences.
Rev Coles (circled, in red, next to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn) has been writing to extremist Abu Hamza
The preacher assures his pen pal ‘you are in my prayers’ as he signs off the letters, The Sunday Times reports.
In one bizarre letter he expresses concern at the prisoner appearing tired around the eyes in a photo he sent, then adds: ‘At least you still have a good head of hair!’
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Their correspondence includes discussions on US President Donald Trump and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman.
Rev Coles even shares details of his holiday in Spain, writing: ‘Everyone was very friendly and helpful towards us and the food was delicious. But perhaps it is cruel of me to write about such things, given your imprisonment, isolation and situation far away from anything or anyone familiar? I’m sorry if that’s the case.’
Hamza (pictured) is serving a life sentence in the US over terror offences
The letters surfaced in court filings as 60-year-old Hamza tries to overturn his conviction and appeal against being held in a maximum security jail on human rights grounds.
A former imam of Finsbury Park mosque, he claims to have suffered ‘inhuman and degrading’ treatment due to his disabilities.
But a panel of judges has upheld nine out of 11 counts against him and maintained that his sentence must stand.
Rev Coles met Hamza shortly after the 9/11 terror attack on 2001 after saying he was concerned about the extremist’s comments.
The 69-year-old even acted as a character witness at Hamza’s Old Bailey trial for inciting murder and racial hatred.
He also visited him in south-east London’s Belmarsh prison before he was extradited to the US in 2012.
The vicar says that Hamza sent him a letter and images of himself in prison ‘out of the blue’ last year.
He describes his relationship with the inmate as ‘pastoral’ and says he wants the hate preacher to be ‘treated like a human being’ and his captors are not repaying evil with evil.
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