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White supremacist Ethan Stables deemed ‘risk to the public’ after planning terror act

A white supremacist who planned to carry out a machete attack at a gay pride event has been detained indefinitely in hospital.

Ethan Stables, 20, was convicted in February of planning an act of terrorism after he boasted online of his planned attack on an LGBT event at a pub in Cumbria.

Armed police swooped on Stables as he walked towards the New Empire pub in Barrow, Cumbria, on 23 June in 2017. He was unarmed but police later found an axe and a machete at his home.

Officers had received a tip-off from a member of a far-right Facebook group where Stables posted a message saying he was “going to war” and that he planned to “slaughter every single one of the gay bastards”.

Stables, who has an autism spectrum disorder, was described by a judge as a “risk to the public” as he was sentenced to an indefinite hospital order at Leeds crown court on Wednesday.

The Recorder of Leeds, Judge Peter Collier QC, said although Stables had not carried out the attack he had caused “alarm and distress” with the plans he had made.

The judge added: “It’s my clear decision that, for the protection of the public, a hospital order and restriction order are necessary.”

During Stables’ trial jurors were shown police bodycam footage of officers searching the defendant’s bedroom, where they discovered an arsenal of knifes, an air rifle and a machete, and a large Nazi flag pinned to the wall. A government explosives expert told the court that material found in the flat could have been used to make a credible bomb.

He denied he was doing a “recce” of the pub he planned to attack when he was arrested and said he was on his way to sit outside the jobcentre to use its free public wifi.

After he was arrested, police found Stables had made internet searches for “how to make chemical poison”, “what is prison like for a murderer”, “I want to go on a killing spree” and “do you get haircuts in prison”.

The jury was shown a video of him burning a rainbow flag while saying: “Look at it, that rainbow, so much nicer when it’s on fire. It’s just like gay people. Much nicer when they’re on fire.”

Stables can also be heard talking about joining the DUP to “execute gay people” and the English Defence League, while another man can be heard discussing what food he is going to order in the background.

The court heard that Stables had swapped messages with fellow extremists, blaming the fact that he was jobless on “faggots, niggers, spastics” and the Equalities Act.

He expressed a hatred of Muslims and Jews, and claimed in a WhatsApp message a month before his arrest: “My country is being raped … I might just become a skinhead and kill people.”

In a conversation on Facebook to which police were alerted, Stables said: “There’s a pride night. I’m going to walk in with a machete and slaughter every single one of them.” He added: “I don’t care if I die. I’m fighting for what I believe in and that is the future of my country, my folk and my race.”

During the trial, Stables’ barrister described him as “lonely and inadequate”, arguing that he was a “white fantasist” and not a white supremacist.

Stables claimed he had made racist and homophobic comments only to fit in with the people to whom he was speaking online. He told his trial that he was politically liberal and a bisexual, having had sexual experiences with men.

Giving evidence, Stables’ mother Elaine Asbury said her son had been radicalised when he went to visit his girlfriend in Germany. She said she had received little support from mental health services in looking after her son and had thrown him out of her home when he was 17 because he threatened to decapitate her and burn the house down.

The Guardian

Ethan Stables, 20, was arrested by armed police in Barrow, Cumbria after he bragged of planning to “slaughter every single one of the gay b******s”

 Stables had taken videos of him trying to light a Rainbow flag, associated with gay pride, on fire (Image: GMP)

Stables had taken videos of him trying to light a Rainbow flag, associated with gay pride, on fire (Image: GMP)

A homophobic neo-Nazi terrorist has been detained indefinitely in a psychiatric hospital after plotting an axe and machete attack on a pub’s gay pride night.

Armed police swooped on 20-year-old Ethan Stables as he walked towards the New Empire in his hometown of Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, last summer.

Officers had received a tip-off after white supremacist Stables posted a Facebook message saying he was “going to war” and that he planned to “slaughter every single one of the gay b******s”.

He also filmed a video of himself setting fire to a gay pride flag, and posing next to a swastika.

Although he was unarmed when he was arrested on June 23, police found an axe, a machete and knives at his home, his trial heard.

The right-wing extremist had a swastika hanging on his bedroom wall and bought a new Nazi armband after his was taken by police when he was arrested.

Stables, who told a court he was bisexual, had Googled “how to make chemical poison”, “what is prison like for a murderer”, “I want to go on a killing spree” and, bizarrely, “do you get haircuts in prison”.

Officers discovered that, as well as researching firearms, he had also looked into methods for making a bomb.

Stables was found guilty in February at Leeds Crown Court of preparing an act of terrorism and making threats to kill.

Jurors heard he communicated his hatred for Muslims and Jews, with one WhatsApp message reading: “My country is being raped.

“I might just become a skinhead and kill people.”

He had admitted a number of other offences before the start of his trial.

The jury was shown a video of him burning a rainbow flag and posing next to a swastika hanging on his bedroom wall.

He had espoused homophobic, racist and Nazi views online, the court was told.

Giving evidence, Stables, who has been diagnosed with Aspergers syndrome, claimed he was a just fantasist and was himself bisexual.

 There was also a selection of weapons Stables may have used in the planned massacre (Image: SWNS.com)

There was also a selection of weapons Stables may have used in the planned massacre (Image: SWNS.com)

Following his conviction, his barrister Patrick Upward QC told the Recorder of Leeds, Judge Peter Collier QC, that Stables led a “melancholy life” up to the day of his arrest and lived in “almost squalid conditions”.

Mr Upward said: “He bears no comparison with the men who attacked Corporal (Lee) Rigby, no comparison with the men who went on the rampage at Borough Market and no comparison with the man who ran people over on Westminster Bridge and stabbed a police officer.

“Whatever he was doing that night, he did not have a fuse to set it off. He did not have the wherewithal to make the fuse.”

Prosecutor Jonathan Sandiford told the judge that Stables had intended to attack multiple persons and had looked at a number of ways of doing it.

Stables told the court he is bisexual and has an autism spectrum condition.

He denied he was doing a “recce” of the venue when he was arrested and said he was heading out to sit outside the jobcentre to use the free public WiFi.

Daily Mirror

The 20-year-old has been convicted after a two-week trial


BARROW terrorist Ethan Stables has been found guilty of preparing to commit acts of terrorism.

Ethan Stables, 20, planned to kill people attending a gay pride event at the New Empire pub in Barrow, Cumbria.

Armed police stopped him on the way to the pub following a tip-off from a member of a far-right Facebook group where he had posted a message saying he was “going to war”.

Stables had written that he planned to “slaughter every single one of the gay bastards”.

He was unarmed when he was arrested on June 23 but police found an axe and a machete at his home, Leeds Crown Court has heard over the last two weeks.

The jury was shown a video of a burning rainbow flag and Stables saying “gays look nicer on fire”.

Jonathan Sandiford, prosecuting, said Stables had previously espoused homophobic, racist and Nazi views online, and the defendant was pictured with a Swastika flag hanging on his bedroom wall.

Stables said in his defence that did not intend to carry out the attack and he was simply venting his anger online.

The defendant, who has told the court he is bisexual and has autism spectrum condition, denies preparing an act of terrorism, making threats to kill and possessing explosive.

He denied he was doing a “recce” of the venue when he was arrested and said he was heading out to sit outside the jobcentre to use the free public wifi.

Stables claimed he was a liberal and adopted a right-wing persona to fit in with people he chatted to online.

Here’s a summary of the prosecution’s case against 20-year-old Ethan Stables:

Stables was arrested on Michaelson Road – just yards away from the New Empire pub where he had told friends on Facebook he planned to “slaughter every single one” of the people at a LGBT event.

The landlord’s wife, Lorraine Neale, described how she was terrified for her customers and feared Stables would come inside unnoticed.

Police searched Stables’ flat at Egerton Court and found match head composition and weapons including a machete and an axe inside the flat as well as a swastika flag and armband.

Government explosives expert Sharon Broome has said the material found in the flat could have been used to make a credible bomb.

During his first police interview Stables made “no comment” to all questions. He told the jury this was because he was advised to do so by his solicitor from Poole Townsend and “trusted them”.

In a later interview Stables vowed to “tell the truth” and told counter terrorism officers he was right wing and admired Nazis including Adolf Hitler.

When he took to the stand, Stables shocked the court by announcing he was bisexual, and claimed he had been scared to declare his sexuality because of his grandparents’ right wing views.

Stables told the jury he was “ashamed” and “sorry” for his racist, anti-Semitic and homophobic comments and had never intended to hurt anyone.

Stables said his Asperger Syndrome and other mental health issues explained his constant attempts to “fit in” and impress his far right friends.

Phillip Loveless, the gay godfather of Ethan Stables, said he had “always expected” something to happen but had no reason to believe his godson was homophobic.

Stables’ mother, Elaine Asbury, recalled her son’s difficult childhood and expulsion from school because of his behavioural problems and Oppositional Defiant Disorder.

Mrs Asbury kicked her son out of the family home after he threatened to chop her head off and burn the house down. Stables had few friends and claimed he was a victim of bullying.

Character witnesses Anne Diss and Stuart Barclay from Cowran Estates farm described Stables as a pleasant and polite young man who went out of his way to make friends.

Two psychiatrists both agreed Stables’ autistic spectrum disorder would not have prevented him from knowing his threats would be taken seriously.

One expert disputed Stables’ claim he was embarrassed of his sexuality and said he had been eager to talk about his bisexual experiences.

Defence psychiatrist Dr Matthew Appleyard said Stables was suffering from clinical depression – something which can exacerbate the features of an autistic spectrum disorder.

Since being in custody Stables has attempted to take an overdose and is being assessed to consider if he should be moved to a secure mental health unit.

North West Evening Mail

Ethan Stables is accused of preparing terrorist acts and threatening to kill people attending a gay pride event

AN alleged far-right extremist from Barrow who denies preparing terrorist acts and threatening to kill people attending a gay pride event is due to appear at Leeds Crown Court today (22).

Ethan Stables, 19, admitted a charge of possession of explosive under suspicious circumstances when he last appeared by video-link for a hearing at Leeds Crown Court on January 5.

Unemployed Stables, of Egerton Court, also pleaded guilty to four counts of possessing information likely to be useful to people preparing or committing acts of terrorism.

But he denied charges of the preparation of terrorist acts and making a threat to kill.

It is alleged that, in June, Stables made a threat to “kill persons attending a Pride Night event at a public house in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria.”

The charge alleges that he made the threat to members of a Facebook chat group called “National Socialists Union standing against New World Order”.

The charge Stables faces of preparation of terrorist acts has nine separate elements.

One of these elements alleges that he was “reconnoitring and collecting information about the New Empire Public House in Barrow-in-Furness, including the taking of photographs”.

Another alleges that his preparations included declaring to a Facebook chat group “his willingness and intention to attack and kill persons attending a Pride Night at the New Empire Public House in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria” on June 23.

Other elements of the charge include: “Conducting internet searches and/or accessing material relating to joining Combat 18, the proscribed terrorist group National Action, preparing for a ‘Race War’ and ‘How to be a terrorist’.”

It also alleged he conducted searches or accessed recordings of “extreme violence, torture, executions and other terrorist acts including killing sprees, rampage killers and mass murder”.

Another element of the charge alleges Stables’ preparations included “acquiring a number of weapons including a machete, an axe, three knives, a Kendo stick and a wooden practice sword.”

Stables was remanded in custody by Judge Peter Collier QC ahead of today’s trial.

The Mail

A man has denied preparing an act of terrorism and threatening to kill people attending a Gay Pride event at a Cumbrian pub.

Ethan Stables, from Barrow, admitted possession of an explosive substance and possession of documents likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism.

The 19-year-old appeared at Leeds Crown Court via video link.

Judge Peter Collier QC remanded him in custody to go on trial in January.

It is alleged that in June, Mr Stables searched the internet for material relating to a number of far right groups and, separately, information on the manufacture of explosives.

Prosecutors said he made made threats to kill in a private Facebook group, called “National Socialists Union standing against New World Order”.

He is also accused of carrying out reconnaissance of a pub in Barrow which was hosting a Gay Pride evening the same month.

BBC News