Man obsessed with weapons faces jail for making electric fly swat

Tobias Ruth has previous convictions for racially-motivated graffiti attacks

A Torquay man who once plotted a nationwide hate campaign could be sent back to prison after being found with a prohibited weapon.

Tobias Ruth, 23, has become obsessed with knives and weapons, Exeter Crown Court was told.

He admitted two weapon-related offences when he appeared at the court for a short hearing.

The court was told he had adapted a fly swat into a stun gun and had a .22 air rifle.

Mr Kevin Hopper, defending, said Ruth had become ‘somewhat obsessed’ with collecting knives and weapon paraphernalia.

But he said the weapons had not been used in any crime and the electric fly swat did not work.

“He had no intention of using it on anyone,” said Mr Hopper

The defendant, formerly of Walnut Road but appearing via video link from custody, pleaded guilty to possessing a prohibited weapon on August 7 and possessing a firearm when prohibited.

Judge David Evans said he wanted Ruth to speak to the probation service before sentencing him.

He said all options, including immediate imprisonment, would be considered.

He adjourned sentence to October 25.

Ruth was just 18 when he and a friend carried out a campaign of racist vandalism in Torquay in 2012.

They styled themselves as Knights Templar and studied the crimes of Norweigian mass murderer Anders Breivik.

Their arrest led to houses being evacuated and roads cordoned off.

Ruth admitted conspiracy to send malicious messages and conspiracy to cause criminal damage. He was jailed for 33 months.

The judge at the time said the communications were intended to cause the fear of racial violence and plainly had a racial element.

Devon Live

You can read about his 2012 conviction here

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