Patient who talked down Leeds hospital bomb suspect 'said he seemed like a nice guy'

A patient who talked a man out of detonating a bomb at St James’s Hospital in Leeds told police officers he “seemed like a nice guy deep down”.
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Mohammed Farooq, 28, was arrested outside the Harehills hospital in the early hours of January 20 after police were called by Nathan Newby.

Sheffield Crown Court has heard today that Farooq, who was a clinical support worker at the hospital, had a pressure cooker bomb with him and planned to detonate it in a cafe full of nurses.

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Jurors heard a recording of a call between a tactical firearms officer and Mr Newby, who started talking to Farooq after spotting him “looking upset” outside the hospital’s Gledhow Wing.

Farooq is standing trial for planning to blow up a cafe full or nurses. (pic by CTPNE)Farooq is standing trial for planning to blow up a cafe full or nurses. (pic by CTPNE)
Farooq is standing trial for planning to blow up a cafe full or nurses. (pic by CTPNE)

Asked if Farooq seemed like he was suffering with mental health issues, Mr Newby said: “Yeah, he actually does seem like a nice guy. He doesn’t seem, like, aggressive or owt like that. He seems like a nice guy deep down if you know what I mean.”

Mr Newby also told the officer Farooq was the one who had told him to ring the police. He said Farooq had a bomb “like a stove” and what looked like a pistol, which later turned out to be an imitation.

Asked by the officer if Farooq had said what his intentions were, Mr Newby replied: “He has said that he’s gonna (…) he was going to kill quite a few of them.”

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In a transcript of a conversation between the two men heard on the call, which was read in court, Mr Newby could be heard asking Farooq why he thought “that’s the right way to do it”.

Farooq told him: “I don’t know, I’ve just had enough, I don’t know.” Mr Newby also told the defendant: “All I can say is you’ve shown no aggression to me mate.”

Jurors have heard that Farooq had a grievance against several of his former colleagues at the hospital and “had been conducting a poison pen campaign against them”.

Prosecutors have said that the pressure cooker bomb Farooq had with him was a viable device, modelled on one used in the 2013 Boston Marathon attacks.

His defence team say he was “ready and willing” to detonate the home-made bomb, but was not motivated by Islamist extremism and not radicalised.

The trial continues.