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Man convicted of 'terror offence' for planning machete attack on gay Pride event

He came out as bisexual during his trial

2018-02-05

A man who plotted to attack a gay pride event with a machete has been found guilty of a terror offence. 

Ethan Stables planned to kill people attending the New Empire pub in Barrow, Cumbria, for a Pride event in June last year but was arrested by police on the night of the event during his final reconnaissance trip.

According to The Mirror, Stables was found guilty of preparing an act of terrorism, making threats to kill and of possessing explosives. The 20-year-old allegedly showed no emotion as the verdicts were read out before Judge Peter Collier QC.

Ahead of the planned attack, Stables allegedly acquired a machete, knives, an axe, an air rifle and a ball bearing gun.

 His plot was foiled, however, when a member of a far-right Facebook group tipped police off after he posted a message claiming he was "going to war" and that he planned to "slaughter every single one of the gay b*stards" at the venue.

Stables allegedly Googled how to make chemical poison, what prison is like "for a murderer" and searched for how to make a bomb from matches before his arrest.

During his trial, Stables told the jury he was "brainwashed" by right-wing extremists he met when he lived at hostels and claimed to have an autism spectrum condition.

 

Stables also claimed he only wrote the posts to impress his friends shortly before coming out as bisexual during the trial and confirming that he had experienced a same-sex encounter. 

Prosecutor Jonathan Sandiford called Stables' claims "nonsense" before calling him a "white supremacist" and Nazi supporter. 

He told the court: "Between 2016 and his arrest in 2017, he was planning and preparing to commit acts of terrorism directed towards members of these groups but, primarily, directed towards people who were lesbian or gay."

"His purpose in these acts of preparation was to launch a murderous attack on members of these communities - in particular, the prosecution suggests, people who were gay." 

Reports suggest Stables will remain in custody until his sentencing today (February 5).