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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

Barbara Fielding-Morriss, 79, denied stirring up hatred, saying her blogs were to educate people

Barbara Fielding-Morriss, 79, denied stirring up hatred, saying her blogs were to educate people

A 79-year-old woman who campaigned to be an MP and praised Hitler on a website blog has been found guilty of stirring up racial hatred.

Barbara Fielding-Morriss, a self-confessed white supremacist and anti-Semite, stood as an independent in Stoke-on-Trent in June’s election.

She described Adolf Hitler as a good man and wished Great Britain to be “white only”.

She was found guilty of three charges at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court.

The jury found her not guilty of a fourth charge of publishing written material with the intent of stirring up racial hatred.

Judge Mr Recorder Julian Taylor said some of the articles contained the “most vile details” he’d ever read and that she should be “thoroughly ashamed” of herself.

Fielding-Morriss, of Stuart Avenue, Draycott in the Moors, Stoke-on-Trent, stood in a by-election in Stoke Central in February 2017 after the resignation of the then Labour MP Tristram Hunt and again in the general election last summer.

She polled just under 250 votes in both elections.

She is the leader and only member of the Abolish Magna Carta Reinstate Monarchy Party, the court heard, and she commissioned a party website she could blog on where she made the inflammatory comments.

In four blogs between September 2016 and September 2017, she included statements about how asylum-seeking Jews were like termites and made comments about mentally disabled migrant children, jurors were told.

Remarks ‘justified’

Fielding-Morriss admitted to police after her arrest she was a white supremacist, a fascist and an anti-Semite but denied stirring up hatred, saying it was to educate people.

Jurors heard she was not on trial for being racist or a fascist but for whether she intended to stir up racial hatred by publishing the comments.

Representing herself, Fielding-Morriss said her defence fell under freedom of expression, set out in the Human Rights Act, and the special defence of public good and being justified in the interest of science, arts, literature and learning.

Although she accepted several posts were insulting, Fielding-Morriss said had no reason to believe that publishing the remarks would constitute an offence.

Her final submission to the jury was: “Don’t mind if you find me guilty as I’ve done my best to save you from extinction.”

Fielding-Morriss is due to be sentenced on Friday.

She was told by the judge he was “strongly considering” a custodial sentence and she should secure herself legal representation.

BBC News

Cpl Mikko Vehvilainen found not guilty over Breivik manifesto after admitting having CS gas

A serving British soldier who kept a photo of himself giving a Nazi-style salute has been cleared of a terrorism offence.

Cpl Mikko Vehvilainen, a white supremacist who collected a host of legally held weaponry, pleaded guilty to a separate charge of having a banned canister of CS gas, which he kept in a drawer at a property he was renovating in Llansilin, Powys.

A jury at Birmingham crown court cleared him of possession of a terrorism document – a charge that related to a manifesto by the Norwegian mass murderer Anders Breivik – and two counts of stirring up racial hatred, relating to forum posts on a white nationalist website.

Vehvilainen, of the Royal Anglian Regiment, kept a homemade target dummy in the garage of his barracks home at Sennybridge Camp, Brecon, and had a container filled with 11 knives, knuckle-dusters, a face mask and a box of Nazi flags, all legally held.

He kept a licensed shotgun, a crossbow and bow and homemade arrows, he had wiring and electrical parts capable of being made into a crude electro-magnetic pulse device, and he customised army-issue body armour, spray-painting it black. He also had a Hitler Youth knife and an SS ceremonial dagger.

Vehvilainen wrote to two men jailed for race crimes, including a man convicted of making antisemitic remarks to the Labour MP Luciana Berger, telling them “there is still hope”. He wrote a draft of an extreme rightwing magazine he entitled Extinction, in which he railed against mixed-race relationships, “unnatural” homosexuality and “non-whites”.

Vehvilainen’s phone showed 900 visits to a white nationalist website, Cristogenea.org.

Vehvilainen’s barrister, Pavlos Panayi QC, told jurors at the start of the trial that it was “not in dispute that he [Vehvilainen] is a racist”, but he said it was not a crime simply to hold such views.

The prosecutor Duncan Atkinson QC said that in collecting weapons Vehvilainen was “putting into effect his repeated call, quite literally, to arms on the part of those who, like him, wanted to create a white-only society”.

An entry in a notebook found at Vehvilainen’s address, read: “Be prepared to fight and die for your race in a possible last stand for our survival.”

Atkinson said: “The lists [of weapons], and indeed the substantial quantity of weaponry recovered from his address, reveal and speak to his intention to stockpile weapons and other equipment in preparation for the ‘race war’ that he spoke of.”

In Vehvilainen’s wardrobe, where he kept his uniform, police found a Nazi flag pinned to the inside of the door. When he opened the door for officers, he turned to them and said: “That’s what this is about, isn’t it?”

On his arrest on 5 September last year, Vehvilainen told his wife: “I’m being arrested for being a patriot.”

He was on trial alongside Pte Mark Barrett, 25, also of the Royal Anglians, and formerly of Kendrew barracks, Cottesmore, Rutland. Barrett was acquitted of a charge of membership of the proscribed far-right organisation National Action.

A 23-year-old man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was cleared of having Breivik’s manifesto but convicted of three other terrorism offences.

Vehvilainen and the 23-year-old will be sentenced on Friday.

The Guardian