‘I lost my boyfriend to Islam’: Woman reveals the heartbreaking toll of her boxing-champion partner’s radicalisation behind bars – as he vows to leave her for a Muslim
- A woman shared struggles after her partner turned to Islam while behind bars
- Ryker Jennar was sentenced to 12 years for a string of armed robberies in 2014
- His partner Candy Towers promised to wait for him as the pair were inseparable
- After converting to Islam in jail Jennar is now planning to marry a Muslim woman
A woman has shared the struggles she faces after her boxing-champion partner turned to Islam while in jail.
Candy Towers, 35, thought having her partner Ryker Scott Jennar, 34, spend at least a decade behind bars would be the worst the pair would have to endure.
She now fears the worst is yet to come as he appears to be edging closer to radicalisation.
Candy Towers, 35, thought having her partner Ryker Scott Jennar, 34, (both pictured) spend at least a decade behind bars would be the worst the pair would have to endure. The pair met in their mid-teens and have a 17-year-old son together – they were inseparable
While behind bars in Goulburn prison, Ryker Scott Jennar (pictured with his son) has converted to Islam
Jennar, from Newcastle, was sentenced to a minimum of 12 years behind bars in 2014 for a string of armed robberies, including an incident where a bar manager was shot in the stomach.
While behind bars in Goulburn prison, the son of convicted murderer has discovered Islam.
Seven years into his sentence and Ms Towers now fears the love of her life is following extremist views, The Daily Telegraph reported.
The pair met in their mid-teens and have a 17-year-old son together and Candy says they were inseparable before his incarceration.
Ms Tower had promised to wait for him while he was behind bars. She said they would serve the sentence together.
She would visit most weekends while he was in Goulburn jail until he was moved to Wellington.
And at first she was supportive of his choice to join Islam as he seemed positive about it.
Jennar, from Newcastle, was sentenced to a minimum of 12 years behind bars in 2014 for a string of armed robberies, including an incident where a bar manager was shot in the stomach
But now Jennar, who was a rising star in amateur boxing, has told her he can only be with a Muslim woman.
Ms Tower tried to convert but her heart wasn’t in it.
Last month Jennar informed his partner he has met someone else, a Muslim woman, who he is planning to marry.
He wants his 17-year-old son to meet his wife-to-be.
‘I said you’ve lost your relationship with me and our son. Why couldn’t you spend your time working on that instead of this religion,’ she said.
He told her if he is released on parole 2023 he need to go overseas instead of returning to Newcastle.
The young father would send letters home, at first asking about home life, but the topic changed
The young father would send letters home at first, asking about home life, but the topic changed.
He began transcribing Islam teachings and even asked Ms Towers to spend 30 minutes each night learning about the religion he described as ‘beautiful’.
‘He said he was leading the prayers and he had a lot of responsibility. That’s what started freaking me out,’ Ms Towers said.
It is understood Jennar is not seen as a radical within the prison system.
Prisoners can turn to Islam as a way to align themselves with a group to get through their sentences, experts claim.
The number of Muslim inmates in general population had increased by 40 per cent in 10 years to 2018, to 13,658, according to data from Corrective Services New South Wales.
However, terrorism and radicalisation expert Dr Clarke Jones said the majority of Islamic conversions had a positive outcome. Research showed fives cases of radicalisation in Australian jails.