Liverpool player’s ex-girlfriend convicted of funding terrorism
A former beauty contestant and ex-girlfriend of a Liverpool footballer has been convicted of funding terrorism.
Amaani Noor was found guilty of donating $45 (£34) to an organisation called The Merciful Hands via Paypal knowing it may be used for the purposes of terrorism.
The 21-year-old, who denied the charge, had married an Islamist fighter online and planned to join him in Syria, Liverpool Crown Court heard.
She used to date Sheyi Ojo, the Liverpool winger and former England youth player who is currently on loan at Rangers, and the pair had posed for newspaper photos together.
On Thursday, Noor sobbed in the dock as the jury delivered their guilty verdict, while her mother left the court in tears.
Noor, a former Miss Teen GB semi-finalist, claimed she gave the money believing it would be used to buy food for women and children in Syria.
She told the court she started to focus on her religion, Islam, after she broke up from an unfaithful boyfriend, who she did not name in court but said was "in the public eye", when she was 18.
More from Merseyside
She began discussing extremist organisations with people she met on the internet following a failed marriage to a Muslim preacher, who she had planned to move to Saudi Arabia with.
The jury were read messages Noor exchanged with a man called Kareem Scent L and a woman called Victoria Webster, who has pleaded guilty to three counts of fundraising contrary to the Terrorism Act 2000.