Neo-Nazi Martyn Gilleard has been found guilty of making bombs for a far-right terrorist campaign, after having previously admitted downloading thousands of images of child sexual abuse.
Police initially searched Gilleard’s flat in Goole, East Yorkshire, in connection with child pornography offences.
But once inside the 31-year-old’s home, they discovered not just evidence of a paedophile, but the equipment of a potential terrorist as well.
Officers found machetes, swords, bullets, gunpowder and racist literature. Most sinister of all were four home-made nail bombs stashed under his bed.
He wrote of starting a “racial war” and murdering Muslims, but Martyn Gilleard boasted that he was no “barstool nationalist”.
And a jury has decided he truly did want to put his white supremacist views into action.
At the opening of his trial at Leeds Crown Court, Gilleard admitted 10 counts of child pornography offences. Officers had discovered more than 39,000 indecent images of children on his computer.
After sentencing, Ch Insp Chris Kelk, of Humberside Police, said: “The images include some of the most disturbing my team and I have ever seen and by admitting his crimes it has prevented the images being seen by jury members.”
Ch Insp Kelk commended his team for their professionalism despite the “distressing nature” of the images.
Jurors considering the terror charges did not learn of this until they delivered their verdict.
Gilleard, a forklift truck driver from Goole, East Yorkshire, admitted to police and the court that he had held racist views.
At the time of his arrest he was a paid-up member of the National Front, the White Nationalist Party and the British People’s Party – all opposed to multiculturalism.
His computer password was Martyn1488 – the 14, according to prosecutor Andrew Edis QC, being a reference to the far-right’s “14 words” slogan, “We must secure the existence of our race and the future for white children.”
The 88, Mr Edis added, represented the eighth letter of the alphabet – an abbreviation for “Heil Hitler”.
But Gilleard was not simply a passive crank, the court was told.
In a notebook recovered by police, Gilleard wrote that the “time has come to stop the talk and start to act”.
“Unless we the British right stop talking of racial war and take steps to make it happen, we will never get back that which has been stolen from us,” he added.
“I am so sick and tired of hearing nationalists talk of killing Muslims, of blowing up mosques, of fighting back, only to see these acts of resistance fail to appear.”
In another note, he wrote that he wanted to see “reds” – left-wing activists – attacked with “lightning strikes” and “home-made grenades”.
His comments were a chilling echo of far-right nail bomber David Copeland, jailed for life for murder after attacks targeting London’s gay community and ethnic minorities in 1999.
By the time police raided his flat, Mr Edis said, Gilleard’s preparations for this impending conflict had already been well under way.
Officers had discovered the four nail bombs under a bed along with “potentially lethal bladed weapons”, 34 bullets for a .22 calibre firearm, and printouts from the internet about committing acts of terrorism, Mr Edis told the court.
These had included instructions on how to make a bomb and how to poison someone, he added.
Gilleard had already pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to possessing 34 cartridges of ammunition without holding a firearms certificate.
But he denied that he had intended to hurt anyone with the nail bombs, arguing in court that he had only assembled them to give himself something to do.
When asked why he made the devices, he said: “I’d had a couple of cans. I was just sat around bored.”
The jury, however, decided that he had more sinister purposes in mind.
After the raid on Wednesday 31 October 2007, Gilleard fled to the home of his half-brother in Dundee, Tayside. Police caught up with him after a three-day manhunt.
Detectives who interviewed his work colleagues were told that he had expressed racist views to them. The police also recovered a high-visibility jacket belonging to Gilleard that had been daubed with a hand-drawn swastika.
Born on 15 July 1976 in York, Martyn Paul Gilleard had a complicated upbringing. At the time of his birth his mother had two older children by her ex-husband. He became the adopted son of his mother’s new partner after she remarried in 1978.
He left school at 16 with GCSEs in history, English language and literature, but failed to complete a course at Northallerton College. In 2000 he began working for Howarth Timber in Breighton, East Yorkshire, as a forklift truck driver.
In 2002 – the same year he was fined £25 for possession of an offensive weapon – his partner gave birth to a son, but the couple split in 2006.
A prison cell, not the racial conflict of which he dreamed, now awaits him.