Cumbria

Shane Fletcher 'planned murderous mass attack' in Workington

Manchester Crown Court Image copyright Google
Image caption The trial is being held at Manchester Crown Court

A white supremacist who blamed Jews and non-white people for his failure to get a job planned a "murderous mass attack" in his home town, a court has heard.

Shane Fletcher, 21, wanted to emulate the Columbine School shooting and "take revenge on those he blamed for his unhappy life", jurors were told.

He planned to target an event in Workington, Cumbria, Manchester Crown Court heard.

Mr Fletcher denies possessing bomb-making manuals and soliciting murder.

It is alleged Mr Fletcher had planned to attack the town's traditional Uppies and Downies event - where large numbers gather every Easter for three football matches played in the streets.

Hatred and revenge

Prosecutor Jonathan Sandiford said: "By early 2018, the defendant had formed the intention to commit a murderous mass attack in his home town.

"His motive was not terrorism, but hatred and a desire for revenge.

"It would appear that 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 had, or felt he had, been bullied throughout his teenage years by other people in Workington, who he felt had looked down on him and victimised him.

"Like the Columbine killers, he wanted to take revenge on those he blamed for his unhappy life. He wanted to achieve notoriety by going on a killing spree before killing himself."

Arrested at home

The court heard Mr Fletcher told a probation officer he had fantasised about carrying out a massacre at the Uppies and Downies, but added the only thing stopping him was a lack of cash and no access to weapons.

He was arrested at his home in Wastwater Drive on 10 March 2018.

Mr Sandiford said Fletcher did not want to act alone, and had tried to recruit his only friend, Kyle Dixon, to join him in the attack in April 2018.

The prosecutor said Mr Dixon was a young man with "significant problems" who had suffered a brain injury and was prone to fits.

Although Mr Dixon had initially expressed some enthusiasm, it happily appeared to peter out, he told the jury.

Mr Fletcher denies soliciting murder and collecting or making a record of information useful for terrorism purposes, namely instructions on how to make a pipe bomb and how to make napalm or an improvised version of napalm.

The trial continues.

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