Geoffrey Ryan

Geoffrey Ryan

A man launched a smoke grenade into a mosque and threatened to kill Muslims after he “snapped” following his brother’s death.

Geoffrey Ryan, 44, approached the Al-Falah Braintree Islamic Centre, in Silks Way, Braintree, armed with two knives on the evening of May 22.

He was jailed for nine months on Monday after admitting two charges of having a bladed object in a public place and one charge of affray.

Construction worker Ryan, of Brick Kiln Way, Braintree, threatened centre member Saruk Miah, causing him to fear for his safety.

Chelmsford Crown Court heard Mr Miah had arrived at 7pm, half an hour before evening prayers, to prepare himself a snack.

He had been in the centre for about three or four minutes when he heard an explosion, caused by a yellow smoke grenade thrown into the building.

Ryan then shouted out “I am here to kill you”

The court heard Ryan’s brother had committed suicide a week prior to the incident.

Judge Anthony Goldstaub QC said: “It was an attack both racially and religously motivated and showing hatred on both counts and it is the kind of thing that won’t be tolerated in this country.”

Speaking after the case, Dc Andy Young, of Essex Police, said: “The incident that occurred at the Al-Falah prayer centre caused unnecessary fear, not only for the people who witnessed it, but also local residents at a time when emotions were already running high due to the death of Drummer Lee Rigby in London.

“Ryan’s imprisonment should serve as a warning to others who intend to cause fear and unrest in the community for their own agendas, whether personal or not.

“I would like to thank the members of the Al-Falah prayer centre for their support during the investigation and for their continued efforts in which they have hosted local events intended to increase understanding and tolerance within a multi-cultural community.”

Braintree and Witham Times

Links to EDL   Islamophobia-Watch

Terence Gavan pleaded guilty to 22 charges

Terence Gavan pleaded guilty to 22 charges

A man who admitted making nail bombs at his West Yorkshire home has been jailed for 11 years.

Terence Gavan, 38, who the Old Bailey heard showed a strong hostility towards immigrants, was arrested by police in a raid at his home in May 2009.

The bus driver’s arsenal of weapons and explosives included home-made shotguns, pen guns and pistols.

Gavan, from Batley, also pleaded guilty to six counts of having or collecting documents useful in terrorism.

Sentencing Gavan, Mr Justice Calvert-Smith said his case was “unique” because of his long and persistent manufacture of guns and explosives.

Gavan, who the court heard was a former member of the BNP, pleaded guilty to 22 charges at Woolwich Crown Court in November.

Police discovered 12 firearms and 54 improvised explosive devices, which included nail bombs and a booby-trapped cigarette packet, at the home Gavan shared with his mother.

He told detectives he had “a fascination with things that go bang”, the Old Bailey heard.

After the case, head of the North East Counter Terrorism Unit Det Ch Supt David Buxton said Gavan posed a significant risk to public safety.

“Gavan was an extremely dangerous and unpredictable individual,” he said.

“The sheer volume of home-made firearms and grenades found in his bedroom exposed his obsession with weapons and explosives.

“However, he was not simply a harmless enthusiast.

“Gavan used his extensive knowledge to manufacture and accumulate devices capable of causing significant injury or harm.”

A BNP spokesman would not comment on whether Gavan had been a member of the party.

But he told BBC News that Gavan’s offences were “serious” and the sentence given to him was “correct”.

BBC News

A TEENAGER from the Tamworth area with an “unhealthy interest” in explosives and fascist politics has appeared in court alongside a man from Amington, to face charges relating to making potentially-lethal weapons.

The court heard that police found a pipe packed with nails and screws and charged with gunpowder, in the bedroom of the 16-year-old.

He had made the explosive device with chemicals bought off the Internet.

The youngster also had right wing literature from the BNP and the English Defence League, together with Nazi emblems – one of them in the middle of his bed.

His family home was immediately evacuated while explosives and firearms experts were called in to search the property.

As the search entered its third day, another explosive device was reported hidden under a waste oil tank at Tomson’s Garage in Glascote Road.

Mr Malcolm Morse, prosecuting, said the device had the appearance of a home-made sawn-off shotgun.

In one of the “barrels” was a firework with the fuse extending out of it.

The device was taken to Sutton Coldfield police station, which later had to be evacuated while experts assessed how dangerous it was.

Some tape holding the barrels together had human hair and fingerprints which belonged to a co-accused, 27-year-old Jonathan Cunningham, of Greenheart, Amington, who was also arrested.

Cunningham said he had put the device under the oil tank to hide it from the police.

He also tried to take the blame for making it, saying he wanted to show the boy how to do it, but Mr Morse told Stafford Crown Court the prosecution did not accept that.

“[The boy] was perfectly capable of making devices of this kind with no assistance.”

In court, Mr Morse said the teen had been asked specifically about the right-wing political literature by concerned officers.

“He denied any specific interest in right-wing politics, and he expressed a general interest in the acquisition of pyrotechnic knowledge.

“He denied supporting the views of either the BNP or the English Defence League, that was his explanation.

“It is to an extent contradicted by some evidence from a lecturer at the college where he studies.

“Her recollection is he was outspoken among his peers in support of such views.

“It is the case that while material of this nature was found, material of a contrary view was not.

“The prosecution, in drawing attention to this literature, is making no comment on its content.

“I am merely indicating the presence of it, together with the ingredients and the skill for making explosives,” Mr Morse told Judge John Wait.

He said the mother of one of the boy’s friends had also handed in a video clip from a mobile phone camera showing an explosive device being detonated in a tree.

The clip was labelled with the teenage defendant’s name and the word “bomb”.

A police search of the 16-year-old’s family home on January 30 this year, was triggered by an eBay seller who was concerned about commodities being ordered.

The boy used his mother’s eBay account to buy the chemicals he used to make the gunpowder.

The device loaded with nails and found in the bedroom was examined by the Defence Laboratory and ruled to be capable of dealing a “lethal shot”.

Mr Morse said Internet conversations from a chat room dedicated to explosives and firearms had been found on a computer in the house.

The boy’s username was “Eng-Terrorman”.

He also had access to a Russian film which shows the process of making a gun.

The boy, who cannot be named because of his age, admitted possessing a firearm without a certificate – the only charge that could be applied to the device found in his bedroom, according to Mr Morse.

The boy also admits having an explosive substance and making an explosive substance.

Judge Wait made the boy subject to a three-year controlling order for public safety, with a three-month curfew, a ban on having any explosive material and the recording of any Internet use.

He told the boy: “Anyone who makes such explosives, that in the wrong hands could be used to kill or maim, is committing a very serious offence and putting the public at risk.”

The judge said the boy could have put everyone in danger by being used and abused by extreme political organisations.

He added: “That a 14 to 15-year-old boy should be permitted to carry on such activities under the gaze of caring parents is hard to believe.

“The parents saw substantial quantities of material coming in to the house and saw no danger.

“They saw material relating to extreme politics and saw no danger in that.”

Co-accused Cunningham, who admitted making an explosive substance and perverting the course of justice, was jailed for 12 months.

Mr Darron Whitehead, for the boy, said: “It would be very easy to simply infer that this young man is a terrorist with hidden agendas. They don’t exist in this case.

“There was never at any time, any positive intention to make any aggressive use of the items strewn about his bedroom.

“There is nothing in this case to suggest there was any intention to cause harm to human life.”

But Judge Wait responded: “This is a young man who has developed an expertise, who has broadcast it over the Internet, thereby exposing himself and the rest of us to people who would want to cause us serious harm.”

Mr Whitehead said the boy’s interests in fireworks began as “idle curiosity” and developed into a hobby.

“He plainly has an interest in pyrotechnics. It will no doubt be reported that he developed an unhealthy interest in weaponry.

“The scene met by the police demonstrates that all who visited that house were aware of activities going on inside.

“The youth report makes criticism not only of the boy but also of his parents.

“They are good, hardworking individuals. It appears they not only knew what the boy was doing, they allowed him to have them and indeed involved themselves at stages.

“The garden was littered with fireworks made and ignited over time.

“The neighbours were well aware of the activities and not intimidated by it.”

This is Tamworth