Islamic State Recruiter's Wife Gets Community Service For Failing To Stand

A woman who refused to stand for a judge nine times has avoided jail and will instead do 75 hours’ community service.

Moutiaa El-Zahed, 50, is the first person in New South Wales to be sentenced under new ‘disrespect’ legislation.

According to the state’s acting Attorney General David Elliott, she’ll spend her time “cleaning up rubbish… [and] taking chewing gum off the back of public toilets.”

El-Zahed could be hit with more charges though, after failing to stand for the Magistrate when the court officer said “silence please all stand” at the end of proceedings. She also left half way through her matter, without bowing to the court.

El-Zahed, who is the wife of convicted Islamic State recruiter Hamdi Alqudsi, told the Magistrate in a letter she was sorry for her behaviour during District Court proceedings two years ago.

She failed to stand nine times for Judge Audrey Balla.

"I have never meant any disrespect… my Allah is more important," she wrote.

Her Barrister David Hume asked for leniency because a criminal record will make it hard for her to visit her husband in Goulbourn Supermax.

But her apology wasn't enough.

"It was so deliberate and so clearly a communication of disrespect…" the Magistrate said, rejecting her apology.