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Lowestoft terror suspect trial latest

PUBLISHED: 10:44 30 June 2009 | UPDATED: 14:16 03 July 2010

A white neo-Nazi arrested by chance at Lowestoft station was "on the cusp" of launching a campaign of terrorism, a court heard yesterday.

Neil Lewington had developed a bomb factory in his bedroom at his parents' home and aimed to target "those he considered non-British', jurors were told.

A white neo-Nazi arrested by chance at Lowestoft station was "on the cusp" of launching a campaign of terrorism, a court heard yesterday.

Neil Lewington had developed a bomb factory in his bedroom at his parents' home and aimed to target "those he considered non-British', jurors were told.

He had an "unhealthy interest' in the London nail bomber David Copeland, America's Unabomber and Oklahoma bomber Timothy McVeigh, the Old Bailey heard.

Lewington, 43, was arrested at the station on October 30 last year after drinking and smoking on the train and urinating on the platform, the court heard. He had travelled to the town to stay with a woman he had contacted through an internet chat room.

He was found to be carrying the component parts of two "viable improvised incendiary devices'. Later searches of his home revealed a notebook entitled "Waffen SS UK members' handbook' containing drawings of electronics and chemical mixtures.

Prosecutor Brian Altman said: "The effect of these finds is to prove that this man, who had strong, if not fanatical, right-wing leanings and opinions was on the cusp of embarking on a campaign of terrorism against those he considered non-British.'

Lewington, who lived with his parents in Tilehurst, Reading, Berkshire, is accused of preparing for terrorism by having the bomb parts in a public place.

He also faces two charges of having articles for terrorism - including weedkiller, firelighters and three tennis balls - two of having documents for terrorism and another of collecting information for terrorism.

Two further counts allege he possessed an explosive device "with intent to endanger life' and that he had explosives, namely weedkiller. He denies all eight charges.

Mr Altman said: "The defendant had in his possession the component parts of two viable improvised incendiary devices. He had the parts which, if assembled together, would have created devices which, if ignited, would have caught alight and caused flames and fire.

"Later searches of the house where the defendant lived with his parents in Reading, in particular his own bedroom, revealed nothing short of a factory for the production of many such similar devices.

"In addition to all of that the police discovered evidence that the defendant sympathised with and quite clearly adhered to white supremacist and racist views.'

Lewington had two video compilations of news and documentary footage about bombers and bombings both in Britain and the US, the court heard.

These included Edgar Pearce, the Mardi Gra bomber, who targeted Barclays Bank and Sainsbury's, as well as Copeland and McVeigh.

Mr Altman said: "In addition to his extreme views on race and ethnicity the defendant had an unhealthy interest in bombers as well as bombings.

“The very fact that this man was travelling from home in a public place with the constituent parts of such viable devices, including real explosive substances, together with other circumstances of this case, proves his intention to engage in an act or acts of terrorism.

“Further evidence of his purpose and intention is provided by the clandestine factory found inside the bedroom of his family house for the manufacture of further such devices.'

Mr Altman said Lewington left school at 16 without qualifications but had worked in a number of electronics jobs. He had been unemployed for 10 years after being sacked from his last job for being drunk.

He lived with his parents but had not spoken to his father for 10 years. His mother said he had placed Plasticine in the keyhole of his bedroom so no-one could see inside.

Lewington met a number of girlfriends over internet and text dating networks, calling himself Aristocrat or Amadeus.

Mr Altman said he had made racist remarks and spoke to some of converting tennis balls into bombs.

One woman was put off by him when he said "the only good Paki was a dead Paki' and he would not hit a woman but would "make an exception for a Paki'.

He said he was a member of the National Front and wanted the Ku Klux Klan brought back, it was alleged.

Another woman, an Army cadet sergeant, said he asked if she had had dealings with the Nazi group Combat 18.

Another said he spoke of making bombs from tennis balls and asked at which house in her street an Asian family lived.

Lewington at first explained electronic timers found in his bag by saying he was an electrician. In custody, he said: “They think I'm a terrorist, don't they... I only made those things in my bag to light a friend's barbecue safely.”

He also said the items were not for a bomb but "a bit of pyrotechnics for Halloween'.

Lewington was denied a phone call to Stephanie Alam, the woman he was going to stay with, and said: "She's Mrs Bin Laden the terrorist and my name's Bin Laden.”

The trial continues.

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