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Unemployed ‘loner’ had photographed himself performing Nazi salutes and spewed bile about ‘degenerates’

Fletcher was convicted of planning a killing spree in Workington

Fletcher was convicted of planning a killing spree in Workington

A white supremacist who plotted a massacre in his Cumbrian hometown has been jailed for nine years.

Shane Fletcher, 21, claimed his plans to kill members of the public at a football match in Workington was merely a fantasy.

But Manchester Crown Court heard he had attempted to buy gas canisters for an explosive van attack, and compiled instructions on making pipe bombs and “improvised napalm”.

Fletcher wrote in a journal that on 4 April 2018 Workington would be obliterated – “everything and everyone will be destroyed. I will show no mercy killing you so called humans, I will be doing it with a smirk on my face.”

Judge Patrick Field QC jailed Fletcher, of Wastwater Avenue, Workington, to nine years for soliciting to murder, over trying to convince his only friend to commit the massacre with him.

Fletcher was also convicted of collecting information useful to a person preparing an act of terrorism.

He must serve at least two thirds of his custodial term and will be subject to an extended licence period of four years if the Parole Board considers him safe for release.

The self-described “loner” voiced his white supremacist beliefs and hatred for the people of Workington, who he blamed for school bullying and his inability to get a job, to a probation officer.

Fletcher was being monitored after a 32-month sentence for barricading himself inside a flat and setting it on fire after a row with his brother about his racist views.

He was referred to the government’s Prevent counter-extremism scheme nine months before he was arrested, after telling the officer he dreamed about “shooting up a mosque”, but refused to engage with the programme.

But he was not detained until March 2018, after he started detailing preparations for an attack at the “Uppies and Downies” – a three-stage football match held on the streets of Workington on and around Easter of each year.

Fletcher spoke of how easy it would be drive a van into people into the crowds and attempted to buy gas canisters, saying the only bar to his massacre was a lack of money and weapons.

A journal found under his sofa contained written instructions on how to make a pipe bomb and improvised napalm, while one entry read: “On the 4th April [2018] Workington will be oblitrated [sic], everything and everyone will be destroyed.”

Prosecutor Jonathan Sandiford told the court that despite Fletcher’s extremist beliefs, his “motive was not terrorism but hatred and a desire for revenge”.

“In part, his hatred was borne of his racist belief that people who were Jewish and not white were responsible for his inability to find work and to make any kind of a meaningful life for himself,” he added.

“However, the main source of Fletcher’s hatred was that he had or felt that he had been bullied throughout his teen years and was looked down on and victimised by the people of Workington where he had grown up.

“This hatred was flamed by his own feelings of worthlessness, inadequacy and inability arising from his inability to find work or make any kind of meaningful life or relationships for himself.”

Fletcher’s mobile phone contained photos of him performing Nazi salutes and there were images of the Ku Klux Klan on his iPad.

In police interviews he described himself as a “big fan of Hitler”, after writing in a journal about his hatred of “degenerates” from different religious and ethnic groups, women and gay people.

The phone also contained images of the Columbine High School killers, who he idolised along with Cumbrian mass shooter Derrick Bird and Charleston church shooter Dylann Roof, lying dead on the ground.

He told his probation worker and police that he had started watching YouTube videos about serial killers and mass shootings since the age of 13 because he “had not gone out much”, and was excited by violence.

Lee Ingham, of the Crown Prosecution Service’s counterterrorism division, said: “Like the mass murderers he admired, Shane Fletcher wanted to achieve notoriety by committing a killing spree of his own.

“The court found this hate-consumed man to be a danger to the public and it is right he has been sentenced today to a lengthy spell in prison.”​

Fletcher unsuccessfully tried to recruit a friend to join him in the attack after they shared “snuff” videos of murders and mass shootings in Facebook messages.

In one, he told his friend that he had considered killing himself but then decided to go on a “massive killing spree” and the pair discussed methods and weapons, before his friend dropped out.

In his journal, Fletcher wrote about his self-loathing and called himself a “waste of space” and “failed human” who had let his mother down.

“I’m a freak basically have no friends have no job and have no future, been bullied most of my teen years,” he wrote. “I wanna end it all quick while taking others with me.”

Fletcher graphically detailed his desire to murder school bullies and make them “bow to my greatness and die”.

After being arrested, Fletcher denied he was planning a massacre and said his comments and writings were only fantasies from a “lonely attention seeker”. But prosecutors said his documented efforts to procure gas canisters proved his intentions were real.

In January last year, he wrote about efforts to buy or steal propane canisters for “bombs”, and had instructions to make viable pipe bombs and homemade napalm.

A diary entry written weeks before the planned atrocity read: “I have started this diary counting down the days to WM [Workington massacre] witch [sic] will be the most exciting day of my life I plan.”

Mr Ingham said: “Fletcher tried to claim his actions were nothing more than a foolish fantasy but the prosecution proved the instructions for the explosives contained in his diary were viable and could have caused catastrophic damage had they ever been acted upon.”

The Independent

Jack Coulson has been detained in a young offender institution after committing a terror offence (Image: South Yorkshire Police

Jack Coulson has been detained in a young offender institution after committing a terror offence (Image: South Yorkshire Police

A teenager from Mexborough has been sentenced to more than four and a half years behind bars after downloading instructions on how to make bombs and extreme right-wing propaganda.

Jack Coulson, aged 19, of Roman Gardens, pleaded guilty to possessing a document or record for terrorist purposes at Leeds Crown Court on Monday, July 16.

The charge followed his arrest in January this year as part of an investigation by Counter Terrorism Policing North East and South Yorkshire Police.

An examination of Coulson’s mobile phone revealed he’d downloaded information on how to obtain and mix explosives and how to manufacture pipe bombs and other explosive devices.

It uncovered a wide range of extreme right wing material and propaganda, including racist and anti-Semitic imagery.

His search history also indicated an interest in National Action, Nazism and White Jihad.

Detective Superintendent Simon Atkinson of Counter Terrorism Policing North East said: “Jack Coulson was in possession of disturbing and potentially dangerous material, which indicated an extreme right wing mind set and an interest in home-made explosives.

“He hadn’t come across this material by chance, but had actively searched for it and downloaded it. While no evidence was found to suggest Coulson was planning to act on this information, the combination of this material and his ideology is very concerning.

“This case also highlights the dangers of material that is readily available on the Internet, material that could be misused, or used for a terrorist purpose. Searching for and storing information of this nature has the potential to put the safety of others at risk will not go unprosecuted. In the wrong hands it could have serious consequences.”

Sheffield Star

Jack Coulson, 19, admitted to possessing a document or record for terrorist purposes between January 4 and January 19 this year, namely The Big Book Of Mischief

Jack Coulson, 19, admitted to possessing a document or record for terrorist purposes between January 4 and January 19 this year, namely The Big Book Of MischiefJack Coulson, 19, admitted to possessing a document or record for terrorist purposes between January 4 and January 19 this year, namely The Big Book Of Mischief

Jack Coulson, 19, admitted to possessing a document or record for terrorist purposes between January 4 and January 19 this year, namely The Big Book Of Mischief


A Nazi-obsessed teenager who kept a DIY bomb-making manual has been locked up for four years and eight months.

Jack Coulson, 19, admitted to possessing a document or record for terrorist purposes between January 4 and January 19 this year, namely The Big Book Of Mischief.

Prosecutors allege he downloaded the manual shortly after boasting to people in an approved hostel about wanting to kill a female MP, an incident which led to a police interview but no further charge.

Coulson, who has a previous conviction for making a pipe bomb found in his Nazi memorabilia-filled bedroom, claimed Hitler was his “hero,” a court heard.

Leeds Crown Court heard how the 60-page manual, downloaded to the defendant’s phone, seeks to “demonstrate the techniques and methods used in a number of countries to make hazardous devices”.

It was also claimed the document provides information on the chemicals needed to build weapons, as well as practical advice on detonators, handguns and rockets.

Further searches of his phone uncovered references to proscribed right-wing group National Action.

They also found audio recordings of people screaming in the aftermath of gunshots and internet searches for Timothy McVeigh, the American terrorist who carried out the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing which led to the deaths of 168 people.

Coulson, from Mexborough, South Yorkshire, was handed his sentence at Leeds Crown Court today, which he will serve in a young offenders institution.

David Temkin, prosecuting, claimed the teenager continues to hold “an active interest in far-right political views and violence”, and had a note in his house which read: “They are not going to cure me of my views.”

Mr Temkin added that, during a police interview, Coulson had described Adolf Hitler as his “leader” and said he identified as a “National Socialist”.

Jack Coulson has been detained in a young offender institution after committing a terror offence (Image: South Yorkshire Police

Jack Coulson has been detained in a young offender institution after committing a terror offence (Image: South Yorkshire Police

Coulson was also found guilty last year of making an explosive device but avoided being locked up.

Instead he was given a three year youth rehabilitation order- which was revoked today – and banned from using the internet.

At his first trial in February 2017, the teenager was said to hold “perverted views” and celebrated the murder of Labour MP Jo Cox.

Jurors were told how a pipe bomb was found in a desk drawer in his Swastika covered bedroom on July 26 after police were alerted through suspicious Snapchat messages.

Prosecutors said one of these messages was a cartoon-like image of a mosque being blown up along with the words: “It’s time to enact retribution upon the Muslim filth.”

The teen told the court he had no intention of using the device which contained 19 grammes of explosive material he had gathered from sparklers.

An examination of Coulson’s mobile phone revealed he’d downloaded information on how to obtain and mix explosives and how to manufacture pipe bombs and other explosive devices.

It uncovered a wide range of extreme right wing material and propaganda, including racist and anti-Semitic imagery.

His search history also indicated an interest in National Action, Nazism and White Jihad, counter terrorism police said.

At Leeds Crown Court on Monday he was remanded in custody for the latest offence until his sentence hearing today.

Sentencing Coulson to four years and eight months in a young offenders institution, Judge Marson QC told the teenager on Thursday: “Time and time again you were a given a chance in relation to the previous offence.

“Help was repeatedly given, but you continued to breach the order that was given to you.

“You are unable to address the very real problems which you have in relation to your right-wing views.”

Discussing the teenager’s “extreme social isolation”, Kate O’Raghallaigh, defending, said: “His belief system and expressed opinions, unpalatable as they are, bear no relevance to the sentence that Your Honour should pass.”

She added there was no evidence that the defendant accessed the manual more than once or that he was intending to carry out any further offences.

Photo issued by North East CTU of Nazi memorabilia in the bedroom of teenager Jack Coulson

Photo issued by North East CTU of Nazi memorabilia in the bedroom of teenager Jack Coulson

Coulson was not named in reports of his pipe-bomb trial in early 2017 after the court banned his identification because he was 17 at the time.

The judge in that trial, Mr Justice Goss, said Coulson’s “perverted” views led to him proclaiming Thomas Mair, the man who murdered Labour MP Jo Cox, to be a hero.

Following the sentencing on Thursday, Detective Superintendent Simon Atkinson, Head of Investigations at Counter Terrorism Policing North East, said: “Jack Coulson was in possession of disturbing and potentially dangerous material, which indicated an extreme right wing mind set and an interest in home-made explosives.

“He hadn’t come across this material by chance, but had actively searched for it and downloaded it.

“While no evidence was found to suggest Coulson was planning to act on this information, the combination of this material and his ideology is very concerning.”

He added: “This case also highlights the dangers of material that is readily available on the Internet, material that could be misused, or used for a terrorist purpose.

“Searching for and storing information of this nature has the potential to put the safety of others at risk (and) will not go unprosecuted. In the wrong hands it could have serious consequences.”

“While no evidence was found to suggest Coulson was planning to act on this information, the combination of this material and his ideology is very concerning.”

He added: “This case also highlights the dangers of material that is readily available on the Internet, material that could be misused, or used for a terrorist purpose.

“Searching for and storing information of this nature has the potential to put the safety of others at risk (and) will not go unprosecuted. In the wrong hands it could have serious consequences.”

Daily Mirror

Jack Coulson will be sentenced on Thursday after admitting possessing a document for terrorist purposes

Jack Coulson will be sentenced on Thursday after admitting possessing a document for terrorist purposes


A teenager with a previous conviction for making a pipe bomb in his Nazi memorabilia-filled bedroom has admitted a terror offence.

Jack Coulson was previously convicted of constructing an explosive device and given a youth rehabilitation order.

At Leeds Crown Court, the 19-year-old admitted possessing a document for terrorist purposes.

Coulson, of Mexborough, South Yorkshire, was remanded in custody and is due to be sentenced on Thursday.

Coulson admitted possessing The Big Book Of Mischief between 3 and 20 January.

Photo issued by North East CTU of Nazi memorabilia in the bedroom of teenager Jack Coulson

Photo issued by North East CTU of Nazi memorabilia in the bedroom of teenager Jack Coulson

The court was told the document contained information of a kind likely to be useful to a person looking to commit an act of terrorism.

During his previous trial, Coulson, who lived in Bradford and was 17 at the time, was not named after he was granted anonymity due to his age.

Coulson, who praised the killer of MP Jo Cox, was arrested after he put a photo of the pipe bomb online.

He was also associated with the “secretive neo-Nazi” organisation National Action, which is now a proscribed terror group, the court was told.

In the trial early last year, Coulson was found guilty of making explosives but acquitted of the preparation of terrorist acts.

Jack Coulson at a previous National Action demonstration (front row second from right)

Jack Coulson at a previous National Action demonstration (front row second from right)

The teenager told the court he had never intended to use the pipe bomb, and was given a three-year youth rehabilitation order.

The pipe bomb was found in a drawer in his bedroom after police were alerted through suspicious messages on Snapchat

The teenager told the court he had never intended to use the pipe bomb, and was given a three-year youth rehabilitation order.  The pipe bomb was found in a drawer in his bedroom after police were alerted through suspicious messages on Snapchat

The teenager told the court he had never intended to use the pipe bomb, and was given a three-year youth rehabilitation order.
The pipe bomb was found in a drawer in his bedroom after police were alerted through suspicious messages on Snapchat

One of the messages was a cartoon-like image of a mosque being blown up along with the words: “It’s time to enact retribution upon the Muslim filth.”

The trial also heard the defendant’s “perverted” views led to him celebrating the murder of Labour MP Jo Cox and proclaiming her murderer, Thomas Mair, as a hero.

BBC News

Photo issued by North East CTU of Nazi memorabilia in the bedroom of teenager Jack Coulson

Photo issued by North East CTU of Nazi memorabilia in the bedroom of teenager Jack Coulson

A teenager who already has a conviction for making a pipe bomb which was found in his Nazi memorabilia-filled bedroom has admitted a terror offence.

Jack Coulson, 19, was found guilty last year of constructing the explosive device but avoided jail when he was given a youth rehabilitation order.

On Monday, in a separate prosecution, Coulson admitted an offence of possessing a document or record for terrorist purposes when he appeared at Leeds Crown Court.

Judge Geoffrey Marson QC heard Coulson, of Mexborough, South Yorkshire, admit that between between January 3 and January 20 this year, he possessed a document called The Big Book Of Mischief.

The court heard the document contained information of a kind likely to be useful to a person looking to commit an act of terrorism.

Coulson, who appeared in court wearing black trousers and an open-necked, short-sleeved, pale blue shirt, was remanded in custody by Judge Marson.

He will be sentenced on Thursday.

Coulson was not named in reports of his previous trial, in early 2017, after the court banned his identification because he was 17 years old at the time.

That jury heard how the pipe bomb was found in a desk drawer in his Bradford bedroom after police were alerted through suspicious Snapchat messages.

Prosecutors said one of these messages was a cartoon-like image of a mosque being blown along with words describing ‘retribution’.

Another was a picture of a pipe bomb with an image of the Bradford skyline and the message: “Incendiary explosive and home-made black powder.

The jury heard how officers found the defendant’s bedroom covered in flags, including the swastika and the symbol of the Waffen SS as well as a laptop with wallpaper featuring a Nazi eagle over a swastika and the German phrase: One Nation, One Empire, One Leader.

But the teenager told the court he never intended to use the pipe bomb.

The judge in the trial, Mr Justice Goss, said that the defendant’s “perverted” views led to him celebrating the murder of Labour MP Jo Cox and proclaiming her murderer, Thomas Mair, as a hero.

Sentencing Coulson in February 2017, the judge said: “You are quite unable to articulate why you are now sorry and you continue to express very extreme views.”

He said Coulson was associated with National Action, which is now a proscribed terror group and was described in court as “a small, secretive neo-Nazi British youth nationalist organisation”.

Coulson was found guilty by the jury of constructing the explosive device but not guilty of a terrorism offence.

He was given a youth rehabilitation order to last for three years which would involve him being supervised, attending a preventative intervention programme for a year, staying off the internet and not contacting any proscribed groups.

Yorkshire Post.

Jack Coulson on a National Action demo in York, summer 2016.

Jack Coulson on a National Action demo in York, summer 2016.

A teenager who already has a conviction for making a pipe bomb which was found in his Nazi memorabilia-filled bedroom has admitted a terror offence.

Photo issued by North East CTU of Nazi memorabilia in the bedroom of teenager Jack Coulson

Photo issued by North East CTU of Nazi memorabilia in the bedroom of teenager Jack Coulson

Jack Coulson, 19, was found guilty last year of constructing the explosive device but avoided jail when he was given a youth rehabilitation order.

On Monday, in a separate prosecution, Coulson admitted an offence of possessing a document or record for terrorist purposes when he appeared at Leeds Crown Court.

Judge Geoffrey Marson QC heard Coulson, formerly of Bradford but now of Mexborough, South Yorkshire, admit that between between January 3 and January 20 this year, he possessed a document called The Big Book Of Mischief.

The court heard the document contained information of a kind likely to be useful to a person looking to commit an act of terrorism.

Coulson, who appeared in court wearing black trousers and an open-necked, short-sleeved, pale blue shirt, was remanded in custody by Judge Marson.

He will be sentenced on Thursday.

Coulson was not named in reports of his previous trial, in early 2017, after the court banned his identification because he was 17 years old at the time.

That jury heard how the pipe bomb was found in a desk drawer in his Bradford bedroom after police were alerted through suspicious Snapchat messages.

Prosecutors said one of these messages was a cartoon-like image of a mosque being blown up along with the words: “It’s time to enact retribution upon the Muslim filth.”

Another was a picture of a pipe bomb with an image of the Bradford skyline and the message: “Incendiary explosive and home-made black powder.

“More to come.”

The jury heard how officers found the defendant’s bedroom covered in flags, including the swastika and the symbol of the Waffen SS as well as a laptop with wallpaper featuring a Nazi eagle over a swastika and the German phrase: One Nation, One Empire, One Leader.

But the teenager told the court he never intended to use the pipe bomb.

The judge in the trial, Mr Justice Goss, said that the defendant’s “perverted” views led to him celebrating the murder of Labour MP Jo Cox and proclaiming her murderer, Thomas Mair, as a hero.

Sentencing Coulson in February 2017, the judge said: “You are quite unable to articulate why you are now sorry and you continue to express very extreme views.”

He said Coulson was associated with National Action, which is now a proscribed terror group and was described in court as “a small, secretive neo-Nazi British youth nationalist organisation”.

Coulson was found guilty by the jury of constructing the explosive device but not guilty of a terrorism offence.

He was given a youth rehabilitation order to last for three years which would involve him being supervised, attending a preventative intervention programme for a year, staying off the internet and not contacting any proscribed groups.

Telegraph & Argus

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