AN Islamic State supporter who called for an attack on Prince George has been jailed for life with a minimum of 25 years.

Husnain Rashid, of Leonard Street, Nelson, had maintained his innocence throughout proceedings at Woolwich Crown Court, but changed his plea at the end of the prosecution opening and admitted a string of terror offences.

The 32-year-old used a Telegram chat group to call on supporters on October 13 to target the four-year-old heir to the throne, who had started school at Thomas’s, Battersea, a month earlier.

He also posted suggestions of which British football stadiums terrorists could strike following the deadly attack outside Besiktas’s ground in Turkey, and plotted to inject ice cream with poison.

Rashid posted a photograph of the prince at the school superimposed with silhouettes of two masked jihad fighters.

Before Rashid pleaded guilty, the court heard that in the space of 18 months he sent in the region of 300,000 messages and posts on the highly-encrypted communication app, Telegram.

The messages and posts included threats against footballers and fans attending the World Cup in Russia, instructions on how to poison fruit in supermarkets with cyanide and encouraging attacks on high-profile public figures.

Sentencing, Judge Andrew Lees said: “The message was clear - you were providing the name and address of Prince George’s school, an image of Prince George’s school and the instruction or threat that Prince George and other members of the royal family should be viewed as potential targets.

“You provided what you regarded as inspiration for suitable targets for lone wolf terror attacks.

“Attacks in Western countries were in your eyes the only suitable acceptable alternative to jihad itself.”

Rashid, who developed websites for local businesses in Nelson until he gave up work five months before his arrest, denied all charges until the sixth day of his trial at the end of May.

In November last year, when officers raided his home, Rashid ran out the back door of the house to escape police and threw his mobile phone into the air to avoid being found with it in his possession.

It landed over the back wall, right at the feet of an officer.

Mobile phones owned by Rashid were found to have text messages on them between him and the ISIS news agency Amaq.

In one post Rashid suggested an attack at the New York City Halloween parade in 2017.

An attack on that event in the city did occur, however investigating officers found no evidence to suggest the attack was a result of Rashid’s post.

Chief Superintendent Will Chatterton, from Counter Terrorism Policing North West, said: “Rashid had spent the past 18 months locked away in a bedroom of his parents’ house where he had made links with known ISIS members and spent hours making online posters and propaganda encouraging would-be terrorists to carry out the most gruesome attacks.

“He is a prolific and dangerous individual.

“He has never been forthcoming with information about all of the attacks that he suggested, but we have worked closely with agencies across the world to share the intelligence that we have.”

“We believe that Rashid was days away from travelling to Syria and are in no doubt that he would have continued to encourage others and promote his ideology.

“He will no longer be able to spread hate and encourage senseless harm and killing.

“Today the world is just that little bit safer.”

Rashid admitted three counts of engaging in conduct in preparation of terrorist acts, and was given a life sentence for each, with a minimum term of 25 years.

He also admitted one count of encouraging terrorism and was sentenced to four-and-a-half years’ imprisonment, to run concurrently.