04/01/2019 16:01 GMT

Man Who Plotted Oxford Street Terror Attack Was Told He Should Want To 'Die A Martyr', Court Hears

Lewis Ludlow swore allegiance to Islamic State when he was full of "animosity and hatred".

Press Association Images

A Muslim convert has told how he was ordered by an Islamic State jihadi to launch a ram or bomb attack on Oxford Street to “make them pay in blood”.

Lewis Ludlow, 27, from Rochester in Kent, who called himself the Ghost and Eagle, also recorded a pledge of allegiance to IS, saying he had nothing but “animosity and hatred”.

He plotted the attack after being stopped from travelling to the Philippines, the Old Bailey heard.

The former Royal Mail worker has pleaded guilty to preparing acts of terrorism in the UK and funding terrorism abroad.

He had 16 meetings and a phone call with officer who were part of the Prevent programme who were attempting to change his ways over six months before his arrest last April.

Ludlow said he wanted to travel to the Philippines in February last year to find a wife and start a “new life” but kept his plans a secret from his Prevent mentor.

When he was stopped at the airport, he felt “bitter” and “heartbroken”.

The defendant, who has autism, went on to describe how his IS-supporting friend Abu Yaqeen gradually talked him into plotting an attack in Britain.

Later, Yaqeen told him he had to “kill” people during a chat on an encrypted app, he said.

“He said to me, ‘Don’t you want to die a martyr? They deserve it’.” Ludlow said.

Ludlow said he wrote notes about killing up to 100 people in a ram attack or using an improvised explosive device to “maximise” casualties.

Rebecca Trowler QC, defending, asked: “Do you accept at that time you intended that the kind of attack described in these notes would at some point in the future be carried out?”

Ludlow said: “At that particular time yes but there was no date set.”

He claimed Yaqeen was persistent and put pressure on him, so he “went along with it and followed his instructions”.

In the end, Ludlow said he decided to stop and ripped up his notes because he felt “guilty at what I had done”.

The defendant told the court he suffered from anxiety attacks like “whispers from the devil”.

Judge Nicholas Hilliard QC will conclude the sentencing at a later date.