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Torquay man admits having terrorism manual

image captionJohn Roddy and Tobias Ruth were arrested after a number of properties were evacuated in Torquay

A man who downloaded an al-Qaeda training manual and a document by Norwegian mass killer Anders Breivik has admitted a terrorism charge.

At Exeter Crown Court, John Roddy, 20, from Torquay, Devon, admitted possessing documents containing information useful to terrorism.

He also admitted sending threatening messages and damaging a mosque.

Tobias Ruth, 19, arrested at the same time as Roddy, admitted distributing threatening written material.

'Dangerous items'

Both men were arrested after a number of properties around Lymington Road, Torquay, had to be evacuated when "suspect items" were reported to police in January.

The area, between Upton Road and Upton Hill, was closed for about five hours. Bomb disposal experts and the fire service were also called to the scene.

image captionThe area around Lymington Road was closed to the public for about five hours

Roddy, from Lymington Road - the only one of the pair charged under the Terrorism Act - also admitted sending threatening messages to Islamic organisations.

Ruth, of Morgan Avenue, Torquay, admitted distributing threatening written material intending to stir up religious or sexual orientation hatred, and causing criminal damage to a mosque.

In court, Judge Francis Gilbert warned the pair that all sentencing options, including prison, "were open" to him.

Det Insp Costa Nassaris, of Devon and Cornwall Police, said the pair had "demonstrated an extreme right wing ideology with a particular hatred of Islam".

He added: "Although one of the offences is under the Terrorism Act, it is important to maintain a perspective on this and I can reassure people that there was not an immediate risk of serious harm to the general public."

He added the pair were "not part of a wider more organised group".

The two men were released on bail and are due to be sentenced on 20 September.

More on this story

  • Terrorism Act charge for Torquay man John Roddy