A white supremacist who stockpiled guns and explosives to launch a potentially murderous race war was yesterday jailed for 11 years.
David Tovey, 37, was sentenced at Oxford crown court after he admitted explosives and firearms charges. He was also found guilty of carrying out a campaign of racist graffiti at his trial in October. Police believe he had identified around a dozen Asian and black families as potential targets, as well as a mosque in Swindon.
Officers feared he was planning a terror campaign similar to that of the nail bomber David Copeland in Soho, or a rampage similar to the one Michael Ryan carried out in Hungerford, Berkshire.
The potential hate-fuelled rampage he planned from his home in the village of , Oxfordshire, was discovered by chance. Officers investigating racist graffiti daubed on walls in Oxfordshire and Warwickshire raided his home looking for evidence that he was behind the campaign
In February, as they searched his home, an officer discovered a cupboard with a false bottom in which a second world war submachine gun was hidden.
Further searches uncovered an arsenal of weapons and explosives, including pump action shotguns used by US SWAT teams, camouflage clothing, body armour, plastic explosive, home-made explosive similar to napalm, pipe bombs and other bomb-making equipment.
Also hidden in the house was a sketch map showing a mosque and lists of number plates for cars belonging to black or Asian people, with the word “nigger” or “paki” scrawled against them.
Yesterday’s sentence included three years for three explosives charges and six firearms charges he admitted and also two charges of racially aggravated criminal damage in relation to the graffiti.
Sentencing Tovey a bodybuilding and ice skating fan, Judge Mary Jane Mowat said: “The weapons, the body-building equipment, the military car, the military clothing all suggest the fantasy life of a lone commando.”
Tovey had been married to a Chinese woman for 15 years and had later dated a Jamaican woman. He is believed to have been enraged at policies for asylum seekers.
Judge Mowat said the rightwing fanatic was “a person with narcissistic personality traits and a mild trace of bitterness, with a strong belief of entitlement and a need to take matters into his own hands.”
She said the evidence showed Tovey had a desire to incite hatred and violence against non-British citizens, even if those fantasies had never been acted out. “It is likely that one of his personal grievances or bugbears such as bad drivers or asylum seekers could have tipped him over the edge.”
One detective said of Tovey: “He was a cross between Michael Ryan and Hungerford and David Copeland, the Soho nail-bomber.”
Tovey was sentenced to a total of eight years for nine firearms and explosives charges and a further three years for the two counts of racially aggravated graffiti, to run consecutively.
The graffiti contained anti-white and anti-western slogans and police believe he was trying to whip up sentiment against ethnic minorities.
The judge said Tovey should serve at least half of the prison sentence.