Judge hands Neil Lewington indefinite sentence and says he was ‘in process of embarking upon terrorist activity’
A neo-Nazi who planned a racist terror campaign in Britain was today given an indefinite prison sentence at the Old Bailey.
Neil Lewington wanted to emulate the Oklahoma bomber, Timothy McVeigh, and the Soho nail bomber, David Copeland, and kept videos detailing their attacks at his home.
The 44-year-old unemployed electrician, of Tilehurst, Reading, was found out after being arrested at Lowestoft railway station, in Suffolk, for drunkenly abusing a female conductor.
When he was stopped and searched in October last year, police found he was carrying components for two “viable improvised incendiary devices”. Police then discovered a bomb factory in his bedroom.
Anti-terror officers found evidence that he planned to make shrapnel bombs in tennis balls and use them to target Asian families.
Their discoveries included nearly 9lb (4kg) of weedkiller, pyrotechnic powders, fuses and igniters.
They also found a notebook entitled Waffen SS UK Members’ Handbook, with a logbook of drawings of electronics and chemical devices.
The link between Lewington’s extremist views and his interest in explosives was illustrated by a note which said: “Compressed thermite grenade vs Paki front door.”
He also wrote a “mission statement” in which he boasted of two-man hit squads attacking “non-British people” at random. He told one woman that “the only good Paki was a dead Paki”, the court heard.
Lewington was given an indeterminate sentence for public protection and told he must serve at least six years after being convicted of having explosives with intent to endanger life and preparing for terrorism.
He was also found guilty of two charges of possessing articles for terrorism including weedkiller, firelighters and three tennis balls, two counts of having documents for terrorism, and one allegation of having explosives.
“This man, who had strong if not fanatical rightwing leanings and opinions, was on the cusp of embarking on a campaign of terrorism against those he considered non-British,” Brian Altman QC, prosecuting, said.
“In addition to his extreme views on race and ethnicity, the defendant had an unhealthy interest in bombers as well as bombings.
“He admired, and might soon have emulated, the bombers about whom he possessed two compilation videotapes had he not been captured, albeit quite fortuitously.”
Judge Peter Thornton said Lewington was “a dangerous man, somebody who exhibits emotional coldness and detachment You would not have been troubled by the prospect of endangering somebody’s life.”
Thornton said the devices Lewington was found with at Lowestoft were made “to a very high standard”, and the igniters and timers only needed wiring up for them to be set off.
“These were dangerous firebombs, meticulously constructed, all set to go,” he added.
Thornton said that while Lewington had selected no specific target to attack, he “clearly had in mind” Asian and black people.
“You were in the process of embarking upon terrorist activity,” he said. “You were going to use or threaten action involving either serious violence to people or serious damage to property.
“This action was designed to intimidate non-white people and it was for the purpose of pursuing the ideological cause of white supremacy and neofascism, albeit in a rather unsophisticated way.”