Spurned Nazi sympathiser went to man’s home armed with knife and Molotov cocktails
Extremist Craig Cooke became obsessed with victim after they went on a date
A Nazi sympathiser went to a man’s home armed with a knife and two Molotov cocktails when he rejected his advances.
Craig Cooke, 24, became obsessed with his victim after they went on a date – harassing him at home, on Facebook and at work.
After police caught Cooke with the deadly arsenal in Huyton , they searched his bedroom and found a Nazi uniform and body armour.
Concerned doctors spent months considering whether Cooke – who has Asperger’s syndrome – should be sectioned indefinitely.
Eventually they decided he was unsuitable for hospital treatment and there were no appropriate mental health unit beds available.
Judge David Aubrey, QC, jailed Cooke, of Hartsbourne Avenue in Belle Vale, for three years and four months at Liverpool Crown Court .
He said: “On occasion you become obsessed and you become fixated with what you perceive is, or may be, an injustice.
“If that obsession remains within you then there is, at the very least, a potential that you could harm others.
“The items you were carrying, incendiary devices and a large kitchen knife, are capable of causing untold injury and misery to entirely innocent people.”
Cooke admitted making and possessing an explosive substance and having a blade in a public place on December 18 last year.
A dog walker called police after spotting him acting suspiciously in an area near Tarbock Road and Marina Crescent at around 9pm.
When officers arrived, Cooke admitted having a large kitchen knife in his jacket and two bombs in his rucksack.
Jonathan Turner, prosecuting, said he confessed: “I had a bomb but I couldn’t go through with it.”
The bottles stuffed with rags contained flammable liquid from Cooke’s shed. He was also carrying a lighter, balaclava and pair of gloves.
Mr Turner said: “Images were taken of the defendant’s bedroom, which showed paraphernalia linking him to Nazism, the English Defence League and White Pride, and body armour.”
Cooke told police he had been drinking and decided to visit the man and show him the weapons to frighten him.
Mr Turner said: “He said he wanted him to feel something, he wanted to shock him and he wanted to punish him in a sense.”
After their date, Cooke contacted his victim repeatedly, going to his home, “bothering him on Facebook” and “even applying for a job at the same place of work”.
Prosecutors did not accept that Cooke only wanted to frighten his victim, having gone to such trouble to make the bombs.
However, Mr Turner conceded the Crown did not charge him with intent to endanger life and he would be sentenced on that basis.
Jeremy Hawthorne, defending, said: “Having manufactured these devices and taken them by taxi to the location in question, he thought better of it. He was standing at a bus stop waiting to go home.”
Mr Hawthorne said his client accepted he “became obsessed” about the man.
Cooke was detained under the mental health act when he was 17 after he was convicted of affray and possessing an offensive weapon.
But when he was released, he stopped seeing his GP and ignored any “alarm bells”.
The court heard Cooke wanted to be sentenced after spending 10 months in custody.
Speaking after the case, Detective Constable Ian Young said: “It was only thanks to a quick-thinking member of the public that police were alerted to Cooke.
“We would always encourage people to come forward if they think they have seen something they feel is not quite right.
“Thankfully no-one was injured and this man has now been taken off our streets.”