A computer geek has been jailed for eight years for trying to buy deadly ricin poison from the Dark Web after being inspired by the hit US television series Breaking Bad.
Programmer Mohammed Ali, 31, (pictured) was found guilty last month of attempting to possess a chemical weapon between January 10 and February 12.
Ali has connections to St Helens and counter-terrorism police raided an office in View Road, Rainhill, earlier this year as part of the operation to bring him to justice.
Sentencing Ali at the Old Bailey, Mr Justice Saunders told him that having a chemical weapon was “much more serious that possessing a firearm”.
He said: “It seems to me that this is the sort of case where a deterrent sentence has to be passed.
“Everyone needs to know that the possession of a chemical weapon is extremely serious and long prison sentences will follow.”
The judge commended law enforcement agencies in Britain and the United States for ensuring that ricin - know as the perfect poison for leaving no trace - did not get into Ali’s possession.
He told the court: “I am satisfied so that I am sure, that Mohammed Ali had no intention of disposing of the ricin immediately.
“He intended to keep it. That created a real risk that at some stage in the future he might decide to experiment with it or that it could fall into the wrong hands.”
Ali, who was diagnosed with mild Asperger’s or autistic traits, stood impassively in the dock as he was sentenced.
A woman in the public gallery who is believed to be a family member wailed loudly as he was sent down.
Earlier in mitigating, Joel Bennathan QC said: “Mr Ali has a large supportive family who care for him.”