EXCLUSIVE Neo-Nazi who plotted ‘lone wolf’ terror attack on British Asians using shrapnel bombs disguised as tennis balls could be freed after parole hearing
- Neil Lewington was given an indeterminate sentence in 2009 over the plot
- He turned his bedroom into a bomb-making factory to emulate his idols
A white supremacist arrested on the verge of unleashing a terror campaign on ‘non-British’ people using shrapnel bombs has a parole hearing and could be freed.
Neo-Nazi Neil Lewington, then 43, was given an indeterminate sentence in September 2009 for a ‘lone-wolf’ plot to cause carnage by hurling tennis balls laden with explosives into the homes of Asian families.
The fanatic turned his bedroom into a bomb-making factory so he could emulate his idols including London nail bomber David Copeland and Oklahoma bomber Timothy McVeigh.
Calling himself the Waffen SS UK, the unemployed electrician was only thwarted when he was arrested by chance at Lowestoft railway station, Suffolk, for drunkenly abusing a female conductor.
When he was stopped and searched at the station in October 2008 he was found to be carrying components for two ‘viable improvised incendiary devices’.
Neo-Nazi Neil Lewington, then 43, was given an indeterminate sentence in September 2009 for a ‘lone-wolf’ plot to cause carnage by hurling tennis balls laden with explosives into the homes of Asian families
Anti-terror police then raided the home where he lived with his parents in Reading and found evidence that he planned to make tennis ball shrapnel bombs to target Asian families, along with detonators and explosives.
They also discovered a notebook entitled ‘Waffen SS UK members’ handbook’ with a logbook of drawings of electronics and chemical devices.
The link between his extremist views and interest in explosives was illustrated by a note reading ‘compressed thermite grenade vs P**i front door’.
He also wrote a chilling ‘mission statement’ in which he boasted of two-man hit squads attacking ‘non-British people’ at random.
Lewington told one woman that ‘the only good P**i was a dead P**i’.
At London’s Old Bailey on September 8, 2009 he was given an indeterminate sentence for public protection and told he must serve at least six years in jail after being convicted of having explosives with intent to endanger life and preparing for terrorism.
Lewington was also found guilty of two charges of having articles for terrorism including weedkiller, firelighters and three tennis balls, two counts of having documents for terrorism, and one allegation of having explosives.
Under the terms of his indeterminate sentence, Lewington, now 57, will not be released until the Parole Board decides he is no longer a danger to society.
A spokesperson for the Parole Board said: ‘An oral hearing has been listed for the parole review of Neil Lewington and is scheduled to take place in August 2023.
The fanatic turned his bedroom into a bomb-making factory so he could emulate his idols including London nail bomber David Copeland and Oklahoma bomber Timothy McVeigh. Pictured: His tool box
‘Parole Board decisions are solely focused on what risk a prisoner could represent to the public if released and whether that risk is manageable in the community.
‘A panel will carefully examine a huge range of evidence, including details of the original crime, and any evidence of behaviour change, as well as explore the harm done and impact the crime has had on the victims.
‘Members read and digest hundreds of pages of evidence and reports in the lead up to an oral hearing.
‘Evidence from witnesses including probation officers, psychiatrists and psychologists, officials supervising the offender in prison as well as victim personal statements are then given at the hearing.
‘The prisoner and witnesses are then questioned at length during the hearing which often lasts a full day or more.
‘Parole reviews are undertaken thoroughly and with extreme care. Protecting the public is our number one priority.’
Lewington was dubbed the ‘Bedroom Bomber’ and the jury was told by Brian Altman QC, prosecuting, that the fanatic ‘was on the cusp of embarking on a campaign of terrorism against those he considered non-British’.
He added: ‘It’s abundantly clear that in the privacy of his bedroom, far from the gaze of his parents, this defendant had begun to manufacture improvised explosive devices, a production line from which he garnered the two devices he carried to Lowestoft.
‘The fact he was travelling far from home in a public place with the constituent parts of such viable devices, including real explosive substances proves his intention to engage in terrorism.
‘In addition to all that, the police discovered evidence of the defendant’s quite clear adherence to white supremacist and racist views.’
A jar marked ‘igniter chem mixed’ was found at Lewington’s house and on his person following his arrest
Lewington had denied all eight charges and had been described at the trial by his defence lawyer as a loner who had been unemployed for 10-years after losing his job due to drunkenness.
After his conviction in July 2009, Metropolitan Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner John McDowall said: ‘Neil Lewington clearly set out to make viable devices which could have seriously injured or possibly killed members of the public going about their daily lives.’
At sentencing in September 2009, judge Peter Thornton said: ‘You are a dangerous man, somebody who exhibits emotional coldness and detachment. You would not have been troubled by the prospect of endangering somebody’s life.’
The judge said the devices Lewington was found with at Lowestoft were made ‘to a very high standard’ and all that was needed to set them off was to wire up the igniters and timers.
‘These were dangerous firebombs, meticulously constructed, all set to go,’ said the judge.
What police found at Lewington’s home was a ‘veritable store of components for explosives and incendiary devices’, including nearly 9lb (4kg) of weedkiller, pyrotechnic powders, fuses and igniters.
While he had selected no specific target to attack, he ‘clearly had in mind’ Asian and black people, said the judge.
He also made disparaging reference to ‘retards’ and sometimes after a few drinks ‘slipped into racist mode’ while chatting to shocked acquaintances.
The judge told Lewington: ‘You were in the process of embarking upon terrorist activity. You were going to use or threaten action involving either serious violence to people or serious damage to property.
‘This action was designed to intimidate non-white people and it was for the purpose of pursuing the ideological cause of white supremacy and neo-fascism, albeit in a rather unsophisticated way.’
If the Parole Board recommends that Lewington be released, he will be back on the streets on licence within weeks with some conditions and restrictions imposed on him, such as where he must live
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