A FORMER Penarth pupil who joined the so-called Islamic State and is now in a Kurdish jail has said he would accept decades in a UK prison.

As the Penarth Times previously reported, at age 17, Aseel Muthana left his ice-cream selling job in the UK to join his older brother Nasser in Syria.

While there, he said he worked as a translator and civil servant for the caliphate. He said he was never a fighter for the terrorist group.

In an interview with Channel 4 News from a packed prison cell in north-eastern Syria last week, the former St Cyres pupil said he would rather be imprisoned in the UK, saying “anything is better than here” and he wants to “make a change”.

Mr Muthana, 22, said: “In the beginning I didn’t think twice about it because my brother joined them – I looked up to my brother.

“I told the guys in my cell I would go back, even if it meant 15, 20 years in prison. Anything is better than here. At least if I go back they will give you rights.”

When the journalist asked if he blamed anyone for being there, he said he blamed himself.

“It was my choice. I was 17 - young, but old enough to get on a plane and come here,” he said. “I wanted to become a teacher when I was young. When I was 17, that was my goal and until now that was my goal, although my chances are limited.

“But still, if I ever leave, I don’t know, I’ll still try to make a change I guess.”