A couple from Mitcham have been told to expect prison sentences after admitting sending money to their nephew as he fought for Islamic State in Syria.

Mohammed Golamaully, 48, and his wife Nazimabee, 45, both admitted sending £219 to their nephew Zafirr, who travelled to Syria in March 2014 from his family home in Mauritius.

The Old Bailey heard on Thursday, November 17, that Mohammed Golamaully had been in regular contact with his nephew, and encouraged him to “eradicate” and “eliminate” the Kurdish rebel group PKK as he battled with them on the frontline.

When Zafirr’s sister Lubnaa joined him in Syria, Mohammed told her she would need to learn to use a gun.

He also encouraged her to send pictures of dead children in Syria to her mother and press the “Islamic concept” upon her parents when she came home.

Although Nazimabee Golamaully had no direct contact with Zafirr in Syria, private conversations between her and his mother Zaleka showed her reassuring her sister-in-law and expressing envy that her own children had not gone to Syria, saying: “Your kids have done something exceptional. Take comfort in that.

“You have to accept the reward for that will be exceptional, but probably not in this life.”

The messages between the pair also revealed Nazimabee agreeing with her sister-in-law’s assertion that Muslims who condemned the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris were “stupid idiots”.

Neither hospital manager Mohammed nor his wife had any previous convictions, but a police search of the family home in Middle Way in April 2015 led to the discovery of mobile phones and a desktop computer containing communications with Zafirr and Lubnaa, as well as websites and articles indicating support of Islamic State.

Dan Pawson, prosecuting, told the court that Nazimabee had saved a number of Islamic State websites as favourites on the computer, and later told police she had done it to get a “balanced view” of the civil war.

The couple arranged to send the money to Zafirr in August 2014.

Nazimabee was arrested in April 2015, and her husband was arrested in December 2015.

When questioned, the couple originally insisted they were sending the money to fund their nephew’s studies at university in Turkey.

However, Mohammed pleaded guilty to the charge on September 16 this year, with his wife following suit on October 3.

October 4: Mitcham couple Mohammed and Nazimabee Golamaully plead guilty to sending funds to nephew fighting for Islamic State in Syria

Richard Thomas, defending Mohammed, described his client’s support of Islamic State as “naïve” and “a phase”, and argued it was important to remember that when the money was sent in 2014, the full extent of Islamic State’s aims and methods was not yet known.

Mr Thomas added that Mohammed was particularly concerned about the impact of the Assad regime on Syrian citizens, and believed Islamic State were fighting to help them.

He said: “The defendant was seeking to educate himself about what was going on.

“He was very slow to believe what was being said about Islamic State and he was very slow as it became clear, as things developed, to condemn that. That’s what happened. That’s why he’s here. That’s why he’s facing sentence.

“It was naïve and it’s something he now looks back on with absolute horror.

“Since then, he has come to realise the true nature of Islamic State. He’s horrified, looking back, at the language that he used at the time and recognises that.

“Of course, what’s in fact happened – and this is the irony of the situation – is the organisation which he thought was going to be the solution has made things far worse.”

He added: “It’s an offence which has been committed by a man who’s a hard working family man, a man whose conduct in his life has been quite the opposite of someone who has any antipathy of western values.”

Hossein Zahir, defending Nazimabee, described his client’s conversations with Zafirr’s mother as “exchanges between two women trying to deconstruct precisely what is happening in the world around them.”

He said: “She is acting on the instructions of her husband. She is a woman who is trying to juggle a number of competing factors and doing her best, but she failed.

“The social services have been engaging on a regular basis with this family and have nothing but the most glowing observations to make. Their assessment of her, having considered her and her children for over a year, is that she’s not a radical and her children are at no risk at all.

“This isn’t a radical woman. She’s devastated by her actions.”

However, Judge Anuja Dhir QC described the case as “worrying”, and told the Golamaullys that a prison sentence would be “inevitable”.

The couple have been remanded in custody until their sentencing at the Old Bailey on Tuesday, November 22.