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Crime

Soho nail bomber David Copeland sentenced for prison attack

Joe Williams October 29, 2015

The infamous hate-crime killer has been handed an additional sentence following the attack.

David Copeland was jailed in 1999 after setting off three bombs targeted at London’s gay, Asian and black communities.

His two week reign of terror ended with a devastating attack in Soho, at the heart of the city’s thriving gay scene.

The explosion left three people dead with another 79 injured after he randomly chose the Admiral Duncan pub as his target.

Andrea Dykes, 27, who was four months pregnant with her first child, died in the bomb, along with her friends, Nick Moore, 31, and John Light, 32.

He has now been sentenced for attacking a fellow inmate at HMP Belmarsh – where he is currently serving six life sentences.

Woolwich Crown Court heard that Copeland had a dispute with fellow inmate Thomas McDonagh before the attack took place in June last year.

He and entered the exercise yard the next day with a toothbrush – modified to hold two razor blades – hidden in his trousers.

Although another prisoner tried to stop him, Copeland slashed McDonagh twice across the face, leaving him with parallel scarring from the twin-bladed weapon.

Judge Anuja Dhir QC said concluded that the attack happened so quickly that officers could do little to prevent it.

“He wanted to inflict a permanent reminder of what he had done – and he achieved that aim,” she said.

Sentencing the killer – who pleaded guilty to wounding with intent – the judge added: “You are dangerous, but the danger you pose to the public is sufficiently controlled.”

Copeland’s six life sentences already carry a minimum term of 50 years, however he will now serve at least 18 months of the additional three-year sentence he received for the attack on McDonagh.

After the hearing, Copeland – who now has a thick short beard and a receding hairline – waved at the judge before saying he understood the extra sentencing.

In 2011, the killer lost an appeal to have his sentence reduced after the Court of Appeal ruled to uphold it.

Speaking at the time, Lord Chief Justice, Lord Judge said: “It is difficult to exaggerate the horror of these appalling crimes, which stemmed, as far as we can see, from the appellant’s abhorrent beliefs.

“Having reflected on this awful case, we have come to the conclusion that the appeal should be dismissed.”

More: Admiral Duncan, David Copeland, Hate crime, neo-nazi

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