A neo-Nazi former Army driver who stockpiled chemicals to make explosives has been jailed for 18 years.
Dean Morrice, 34, collected a cache of terrorism manuals and instructions on how to make home-made bombs and weapons.
He regularly took part in far-right forums and had set up two of his own propaganda channels, glorifying figures from the Third Reich and hailing neo-Nazi terrorists as “saints”.
In one video he strummed a guitar in time with the gunshots to footage of the Christchurch mosque shooting, in which Brenton Tarrant killed 51 people, three days after the 2019 attack.
A stockpile of chemicals used to make thermite and gunpowder was found in his garage when police raided his home in Paulton, Bristol, in August last year.
Officers also discovered a 3D printer, along with instructions for how to make a gun and printed parts for a firearm.
Morrice, who ran a small business fixing electronics after a brief stint in the Army, which he joined aged 16 as a driver, told jurors he enjoyed dressing up as a “right-wing fascist” in outfits including a tactical vest, skull mask and beret.
“I think it’s fair to say I have fascist and neo-Nazi views,” he said, giving evidence at Kingston Crown Court.
He said he had been a “bit of a fan of Nigel Farage” and a paid-up member of Ukip, the party he used to lead, before Morrice left “a few years ago”, with his views becoming more far right up until his arrest on August 20 2020.
But Morrice said he did not believe in “committing acts of violence towards ethnic or religious groups” and did not want to encourage terrorism.
He was last week found guilty of two counts of having an explosive substance, three counts of dissemination of a terrorist publication, one of encouraging terrorism and four of possession of a document useful for terrorist purposes between March 15 2019 and August 20 2020.
Judge Peter Lodder QC sentenced him to an 18-year jail term, with a five-year extended licence period, at Kingston Crown Court on Monday.
He told Morrice: “You have described yourself as a patriot.
“You are not a patriot, you are a dangerous neo-Nazi, your bigotry and hatred is abhorrent to the overwhelming majority in this country.
“It is from the material found on your computer and in your social network communications that the full picture of your character emerges.
“You supported and encouraged extreme groups in your local area and internationally.”
The court heard that people who knew Morrice were “shocked and surprised” to discover what he had been doing and the judge described him as “living somewhat of a double life”.
Narita Bahra QC, defending, said Morrice had been a law-abiding family man who was living a normal life ahead of the 18-month period of his offending, and that his mental health issues had been “exacerbated” by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Detective Chief Superintendent Kath Barnes, head of Counter Terrorism Policing South East, said: “This is the first terrorism case which has taken evidence obtained by use of a 3D printer to court.”
She added: “Through dedicated investigation, Morrice was stopped before he was able to carry out any physical act of terror but the evidence showed that he actively encouraged terrorism to others with his toxic ideology and had the intention and potentially the capability to commit one himself.”
Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.
Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.
For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.
Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.
You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.
100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...
Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.
There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.
In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.
Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.
In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.
Voice of our community to wider society
The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.
We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.