A postman who waged a hate campaign in which he posted letters and packages containing “overtly racist and depraved threats” to the attorney general and around 150 other targets has been jailed for four years.

Jefferson Azevedo, 45, also sent packages laced with white powder at the height of the US anthrax scare, and placed a hoax bomb on a bridge.

London’s Southwark crown court heard that he singled out individuals because of their support for foreign nationals in Britain or their opposition to the British National party.

Azevedo, of Portsmouth, targeted MPs, solicitors, media organisations, charities, schools, mosques and churches, as well as restaurants and car rental companies.

Some of his packages contained caustic soda. One person was slightly burned after coming into contact with the chemical, while another suffered a skin rash and many people were left “extremely frightened”, the court heard.

One victim, Julius Klein, 79, whose family was killed in the Holocaust, said he felt traumatised by a letter he received bearing a swastika.

The judge, Peter Testar, told Azevedo: “I find a significant aggravating factor in this case was the sheer nastiness which was directed against individuals. I can’t ignore the fact these offences seem to have be racially aggravated.”

Azevedo sent hate mail to the Royal Navy’s dockyard at Portsmouth, the Voluntary Overseas Organisation, and the Slough offices of the mobile telecoms company O2.

He pleaded guilty to 19 charges spanning February 2003 to March last year, and asked for a further 140 to be considered.

Alex Agbamu, prosecuting, said Azevedo had explained after his arrest that “he wanted publicity because of his concerns over immigration” and “intended to frighten”.

“He said he had the idea from the US when anthrax had been sent through the post to various people in that country,” the court heard. “He said he had carried out research in the public library, in newspapers and on the internet. If he found a story he was interested in, he would do what he could to find out how to contact the individuals concerned.”

The postman carried out his campaign in several stages. The first batch of letters, in January 2004, were sent in retaliation against plans to turn a former naval air station in Lee-on-Solent into an asylum centre.

A year later, he sent a tin foil wrap with something rattling inside it to the Buckingham Gate offices of the then attorney general, Lord Goldsmith. Fifty staff, including the senior law officer, were evacuated as a precaution.

Azevedo responded to a campaign to prevent a Portsmouth schoolgirl and her family from being sent back to Syria by sending letters containing caustic soda, some with the message: “If they be black, send them back.”

In March last year, he sent hate mail to a number of residents in Portsmouth and the West Midlands bearing a swastika and the warning: “Ethnic cleansing coming soon to this area.”

William Mosley, defending, told the court his client had a background of depression that had “coloured and overshadowed much of his adult life”.

“It made him a solitary individual who has always had difficulty making friends. And this perhaps led to an outpouring of frustration in the way we have seen,” Mosley said.

Outside court, Detective Inspector John Geden said: “This was nothing less than a terror campaign. Some of his victims were extremely frightened by what occurred. If his intent was to cause upset and chaos, he has certainly done that.”

The Guardian

From 2008

A former British National party candidate who stockpiled explosive chemicals and ball bearings in anticipation of a future civil war was today jailed for two and a half years.

As he has already spent nearly a year in custody, however, he is likely to be released within six months.

Robert Cottage, aged 49, from Colne, Lancashire, had pleaded guilty to possession of the chemicals. He was acquitted after two trials on charges of conspiracy to cause explosions.

Sentencing Cottage at Manchester’s crown square court, Mrs Justice Swift said he continued to hold views “that veer towards the apocalyptic”. She added that his actions had been “criminal and potentially dangerous” but said there was a low risk of his committing further offences.

“It is important to understand that Cottage’s intention was that if he ever had to use the thunder flashes, it was only for the purpose of deterrence,” Mrs Justice Swift said.

Cottage had believed that, as he saw it, “the evils of uncontrolled immigration” would lead to civil war, which would be imminent and inevitable, she said.

“The pre-sentence report says Cottage continues to hold views that veer towards the apocalyptic. The risk of further offending of the same type is low but it cannot be ruled out.”

The judge said she accepted that Cottage’s intention had been to hold on to the chemicals, which included ammonia, hydrogen peroxide and hydrochloric acid, until the outbreak of civil disturbance.

But she warned: “In letting off any such thunder flash, mistakenly believing you were under threat, you may have caused injury to some innocent person.”

Alistair Webster QC, Cottage’s counsel, told the court his client accepted that he had bought the potassium nitrate and sulphur with the intention of manufacturing gunpowder, but said this would have been used only to create thunder flash-style bangers to scare off intruders.;

Cottage, who stood three times unsuccessfully for the BNP in local council elections, was arrested last September after police found the stockpile of chemicals at his home in Talbot Street, Colne.

The police took action after Cottage’s wife told a social worker of her concerns about the items he was storing and, and about her husband’s stated belief that immigration was out of control.

Police also found ball bearings and a document about bomb-making from the do-it-yourself explosives-making manual The Anarchist Cookbook on his computer. He also had air pistols, crossbows and a stockpile of food.

“I believe it is everyone’s God-given right to defend themselves and their families if they are attacked,” Cottage told the court during his trial. “The breakdown of the financial system will inevitably put an unbearable strain on the social structures of this country.”

Cottage claimed in court that, with the armed forces in the Middle East and the police insufficiently trained, the authorities would be unable to offer people protection.

He added that immigration was a luxury that Britain could not afford, but that he drove a bus for children with disabilities and had a good relationship with the Asian children among them.

A second man, David Jackson, 62, a dentist, was also charged with conspiracy to cause explosions but was cleared after the jury twice failed to reach verdicts.

A BNP spokesman said after sentencing that the prosecution had been brought for political reasons. “We’re not condoning it, but it’s a quid pro quo to appease the Muslims,” said Dr Phil Edwards, of the BNP.

“To keep them quiet, we’ll snatch someone from white society. We certainly don’t support the bloke. We condemn all forms of violence … but I wouldn’t have thought you could do any harm with what he had.”

Dr Edwards said Cottage would not be standing as a candidate for the BNP again. “We never have anyone in the party with criminal convictions,” he said, because “lefties and people on your newspaper” would publicise the fact.
The Guardian

From 2007



A gunman who had threatened to “kill all black people” has been found guilty of three counts of attempted murder.

Former boxer John Laidlaw, 24, went on a shooting spree in Islington, north London, last May, the Old Bailey heard.

It is not clear whether the attacks were related to his threats against black people.

He shot Abu Kamara in Upper Street before accidentally shooting Emma Sheridan at Finsbury Park Tube station, as he aimed at a second man.

Laidlaw, from Holloway, north London, was also found guilty of two firearms charges.

Judge Samuel Wiggs warned him that he faced an indeterminate jail sentence for the public’s protection.

“These offences, certainly the first incident, seem to be almost completely random,” he said.

Detective Sergeant Nick Bonomini, of Scotland Yard’s Serious Crime Directorate, said: “He has previously demonstrated a high level of aggression towards black people that appears, given his words, to be based on their race.

“But there was no evidence in these current two shootings that suggest that this formed the same sort of motivation for him and on that we have an open mind.”

Social worker Mr Kamara, 44, had been with a group of work friends going for a drink after a game of badminton.

When a sports bag belonging to one of his colleagues brushed against a friend of Laidlaw’s, the gunman reacted by pulling out a gun and shooting Mr Kamara.

The bullet was deflected off Mr Kamara’s chin and entered his neck through his Adam’s apple.

It went through his voicebox before finally lodging near his spinal column.

Half an hour after shooting Mr Kamara, Laidlaw shot at a man called Evans Baptiste.

Mr Baptiste and a friend had been chasing Laidlaw after recognising him as the man who had attacked Mr Baptiste with a hammer earlier in the year.

Mistaken identity

But the bullet brushed past Mr Baptiste and struck 26-year-old Emma Sheridan in the back.

A passing medical student plucked the bullet from her back before ambulance crews took her to hospital for treatment.

When police caught up with Laidlaw at the home of a family friend in Kingston, south-west London, he dived through a glass door and ran into a shed to hide.

n court, he claimed he was watching television all day during the shootings and was the victim of mistaken identity.

Three weeks before the shooting spree, Laidlaw admitted in court attacking a black motorist.

When he was arrested he behaved violently and was “foaming at the mouth” according to a police document.

“In the presence and hearing of the black female jailer the defendant made racist comments and remarks, stating he was a member of the BNP and that he hated all black people,” the document says.

He also stated that he was going to kill all black people, said the report.

BBC News

From 2007

RACIST firebomber Mark Bulman has been jailed for five years after trying to torch the Broad Street mosque.

The 22-year-old used a British National Party leaflet as a fuse in a petrol-filled beer bottle which he hurled through a window at the place of worship.

But the Molotov cocktail failed to ignite so the self-confessed bigot handed himself in to the police saying that they would find his fingerprints on it.

And as well as trying to burn the mosque to ash and rubble’ Bulman also daubed racist graffiti on the walls.

Colin Meeke, prosecuting, told Swindon Crown Court that police received a call shortly before 1am on Thursday, August 17 from the defendant.

After he told them what he had done an officer went to the scene and found him near Fleming Way.

The racist was armed with a chair leg which he said he needed to protect himself from the enemy’.

He referred to the Broad Street area as enemy territory’ because it had businesses owned by people from ethnic minorities.

Bulman also daubed swastikas on the outside of the mosque as well as other racist messages on a wall in Turl Street.

In a rambling interview Bulman told police of his dislike for anyone apart from white British people.

When his house was searched, officers found a variety of racist material and he admitted being a BNP sympathiser and had been on their rallies in the past.

Bulman, of Montrose Close, Moredon, admitted arson, attempted arson and two counts of religiously aggravated criminal damage.

Philip Warren, defending, said “On any view of it, it is a horrible and serious business.

“It is highly offensive, deliberately offensive, and the offence and outrage caused must have been massive.”

He said his client had told the psychiatrist that he wanted to reduce the mosque to “ash and rubble” and “to give the establishment and lefties a wake up call.”

But Mr Warren said: “This was by any standards an amateur and inept act not a concerted attempt to burn the building.”

Having spent 140 days in prison on remand he said that his client, who had no previous convictions, had time to reflect on his “skewed views” of society and wanted to change.

From now on he said that he sought to use the pen rather than the sword to get his opinions across and Mr Warren said Bulman wished to address the court.

But Judge Douglas Field refused to allow it saying: “I am not going to allow a political speech.”

“There has to be a deterrent element to my sentence to deter stupid people like you.

“You are a racial bigot. It was your wish and intention to burn that building to the ground. We have mixed races in Swindon and it is extremely important that we all get on together.”

Swindon Advertiser

From 2007

Five white supremacists have been jailed for a total of 15 years at the Old Bailey for creating and distributing race hate material.

The five members of the extreme right-wing Racial Volunteer Force (RVF) all pleaded guilty to race hate crimes.

A sixth man was given a suspended sentence of nine months for possessing a racially inflammatory booklet.

The court heard the group paid tribute to Soho nail bomber David Copeland with instructions on how to make a bomb.

The five jailed had all admitted conspiracy to publish the group’s magazine, Stormer, with the intention of stirring up race hate.

They are Mark Atkinson, 38, from Egham, Surrey; Nigel Piggins, 39, from Hull; Jonathan Hill, 33, from Oldham, Greater Manchester; Steven Bostock, 27, from Urmston, Greater Manchester; and Michael Denis, 30, from Tooting, south London.

‘Free country’

Kevin Quinn, 40, of Ouseland Road, Bedford, who received a suspended sentence, pleaded guilty to possessing a November 9th Society Nazi booklet, The Longest Hatred.

Judge Jeremy Roberts told the members: “No-one is being sentenced for their political beliefs – this is a free country.”

The group had formed in 2003 to “encourage readers to resort to violence against people with non-white backgrounds”, he said.

“The real danger is that it only needs to fall into the hands of one or two individuals who might be persuaded to take up the suggestions and cause a great deal of damage,” said the judge.

The organisation, which is a splinter group of the right wing Combat 18, wrote of their hatred of non-whites and articles featured anti-Jewish headlines such as Roast A Rabbi.

With a picture of a firebomb, the magazine said: “With the winter nights to shroud you in darkness we thought a few of you would like to don your disguises and rubber gloves and make things a little warmer.”

And, by the side of a swastika on the front cover, it said: “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children.”

Another edition featured bomb-making instructions and praise of Soho bomber David Copeland, who was jailed for life for murder after attacks targeting the gay community and ethnic minorities in London.

Peter Davies, assistant chief constable of Lincolnshire, said: “It is difficult to imagine more extreme race hatred than was contained in the material which was seized during this meticulous inquiry.”

The case showed that anyone “inclined to stir up racial hatred” would be “tracked down”, he added.

Atkinson was jailed for five years for Stormer and 12 months concurrently for operating the RVF website.

Bostock was jailed for two years and three months for Stormer and a further three months for the website.

Piggins was jailed for two years and three months for Stormer and a further three months for distributing a racist DVD, Skrewdriver Live in Germany.

Hill was jailed for four years and Denis for a year, both for Stormer.

Atkinson’s girlfriend, Elizabeth Hunt, 36, of Dawson Avenue, Southport, Merseyside, was discharged after the prosecution offered no evidence.

BBC News

From 2005

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 Carterton, 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.

The Guardian

From 2002

Daniel Lainchbury told the first victim ‘I’m going to rape you tonight’ and minutes later attacked another



A crazed attacker was “off his face” on mamba when he violently sexually assaulted two lone women in separate attacks minutes apart.

Daniel Lainchbury, who has no memory of his depraved actions, had earlier been seen in Leicester city centre “curled up in a ball stark naked”.

Having got dressed, he aggressively accosted a woman in St Martin’s Square at 9.15pm on Saturday, January 4.

The 28-year-old subjected the woman to what the judge said was “an absolutely terrifying” ordeal.

Lynsey Knott, prosecuting, told Leicester Crown Court that Lainchbury was shouting as he approached the woman, calling her a bitch, and made a lewd suggestion as he attempted to grab her.

She blocked him and held a car key against his neck, to which Lainchbury said: “You’re going to get frisky -. I like it when women get aggressive, it gets me excited.”

During a skirmish, Lainchbury pushed the woman against a wall, put his hand under her clothing and touched her indecently.

He told her: “I don’t care if there are police or security guards, I’m going to rape you tonight.”

He grabbed her indecently over her clothing as she fought him off.

A nearby resident went to help, but Lainchbury falsely claimed he was the victim’s boyfriend.

Two security guards arrived and he eventually let go. But he then grabbed the woman again as she walked off, and the guards had to intervene again.

The woman was able to flee, as Lainchbury made further threats of rape, and called the police.

A few minutes later, a female pedestrian rescued a second woman who was being groped by the defendant as he pinned her against a shop window.

The pedestrian pulled Lainchbury away, and the distressed victim made off.

When Lainchbury then turned his aggression towards the rescuer, she “forcefully kicked him” away as the police arrived.

In a victim impact statement, the first woman described feeling unsafe and paranoid about going out alone since the attack.

She said: “He kept saying he was going to rape me but I was strong enough to get him off.”

The attack has impacted on her plans to go travelling, said Miss Knott.

The second victim has not been identified.

Lainchbury, of Ofranville Close, Thurmaston, admitted two counts of sexual assault.

He accepted that the offences placed him in breach of a 12-month suspended prison sentence which he was given for robbing a lone woman of a mobile phone in October 2018.

‘Aggressive, intoxicated stranger’

Judge Martin Hurst said although the defendant had been diagnosed as suffering from paranoid schizophrenia, his actions were caused by the “voluntary taking of illegal drugs”.

He told Lainchbury: “When you take prescribed medication instead of illegal drugs you’re not a risk to others.

“The first victim was confronted by an aggressive, intoxicated stranger.

“It would have been absolutely terrifying.”

Judge Hurst added: “The other victim ran away and hasn’t been identified.”

He said the passer-by who bravely rescued her showed considerable fortitude.

The judge added: “You’ve no recollection and you’ve blamed it on the mamba or spice that you’d smoked – which makes people behave in a very strange way.

“You were clearly behaving oddly, having been seen curled up in a ball stark naked an hour earlier.”
‘Off his face’

James Varley, mitigating, said: “He’d smoked a large amount of mamba.

“It had a very bizarre effect upon him.

“He was off his face.”

Judge Hurst said: “He knows smoking drugs makes him psychotic.”

Mr Varley said: “He says he’s frightened himself, of what the drugs can make him do.

“He’d been warned that the illegal drugs inter-play with his mental health.

“He smoked a joint out of boredom and has now got himself locked up for a considerable period.”

Lainchbury, who appeared in court via a video link from prison, was jailed for four and a half years.

He will have to enlist on a sex offender register for life.

Leicester Mercury