news

LGBT activist defends hospital sentence for homophobic neo-Nazi Ethan Stables

Lee Wickes believes he would have been more radicalised in prison

2018-05-31

An LGBT activist has said hospital is the best place for homophobic neo-Nazi Ethan Stables.

Stables was detained in hospital after being on trial for planning to attack and kill people at a gay pride event in his hometown of Barrow-in-Furness.

Officers discovered Stables had kept a machete, an axe and knives at his home which he was allegedly going to use to carry out the attack.

Stables was furious when he learnt the pub was planning to host a gay pride event and posting on far-right pages, he said he was “going to war” and wanted to “slaughter every single one of the gay bastards”.

Officers were alerted when Stables wrote on Facebook: “There’s a pride night. I’m going to walk in with a machete and slaughter every single one of them.

“I don’t care if I die. I’m fighting for what I believe in and that is the future of my country, my folk and my race.”

During a trial at Leeds Crown Court, the then 20-year-old was convicted of preparing an act of terrorism, making threats to kill and possessing an explosive substance in suspicious circumstances, the North West Evening Mail reported.

Police also found he researched firearms and had looked into methods for making a bomb.

Jurors were told Stables, who had been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, promoted homophobic, racist and Nazi views.

Stables also said he made the racist and homophobic comments to fit in with people he was speaking with online and he told jurors that he was politically liberal and bisexual admitting he had sexual experiences with men.

However, despite walking away from a prison sentence, Lee Wicks, chairman of the Friends and Supporters of the Furness LGBT Community, has said he would have been “more radicalised” behind bars.

"I think a hospital order is better than prison because while it's still a custodial sentence he will also get the help he needs," Mr Wicks said.

"In a regular prison he would have been radicalised and likely come out more angry. It seems like there has been a lot of missed opportunities, from his mother voicing her worries when he was a child to the GP who reported Ethan to the counter terrorism unit, where they could have nipped this in the bud much earlier.

"I'm not excusing what he has done, and let's not forget he was deemed fit to plead and therefore found to be responsible for and aware of his actions and their consequences, but he is a victim of society."