A man who tried to frame his landlord’s partner as being involved in the Westminster terrorist attack has been jailed.
Gerald Banyard, 67, of Lancashire, sent two handwritten notes to police in the days after the Westminster Bridge attack which suggested that there may have been a second person involved in its planning.
Upon further investigation, it was found that the person who was being implicated was entirely innocent, and enquiries found that Banyard had sent the notes out of spite for his former landlord.
He was found guilty earlier this month of two counts of perverting the course of justice following a week-long trial. He was sentenced to three years' imprisonment for these offences. A restraining order was also issued.
He was jailed for an additional two months for failing to appear at court for the verdict hearing.
A warrant for his arrest was issued at that hearing, and he was subsequently located and arrested in Scotland.
A Metropolitan Police spokesman says: “Banyard looked to exploit an extremely tragic and serious situation to try and settle what was a private dispute with his landlord. His actions meant that counter terrorism resources were diverted to investigate what turned out to be a completely fabricated story which implicated an innocent man. His actions were disgraceful and reckless and I hope this conviction demonstrates how seriously the police and courts take this type of offending.”
Banyard was first identified as a possible suspect as he was involved in a landlord-tenant dispute with the man’s partner over a property Banyard was renting from her.
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