‘Supporter of Adolf Hitler’ planned attack on Pride event with guns and a machete, court hears
A man planned to attack an LGBT Pride event with an arsenal of weapons “had a deep-seated hatred of black, Jewish, Muslim and especially gay people,” a court has heard.
Ethan Stables, 20, had gathered a machete, knives, an axe, an air rifle and a ball bearing gun with the intent of attacking the New Empire pub in Cumbria, prosecutors have told Leeds Crown Court.
His alleged plan was reportedly foiled after he told fellow members of a Nazi-themed Facebook group that he was going to murder people at the event.
This led a woman in Staffordshire to phone the police and post a warning on Twitter.
Stables was arrested near the pub at 10pm on the night of the Pride event, on June 23 last year.
The jury of seven men and five women was told that the defendant was on a final reconnaissance trip, and planned to return later that night to carry out his plot.
Prosecutor Jonathan Sandiford said that Stables was a “white supremacist and Nazi – a supporter of Adolf Hitler, if you will.”
Sandiford continued: “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.”
Stables became enraged when he heard about the pub’s Pride event, the prosecutor told the court.
He added that the 20-year-old spent had researched firearms and explosives, and had even begun to acquire material to build an improvised explosive device.
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“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,” Sandiford said.
Patrick Upward QC, who is defending Stables, said that his client was not a white supremacist, but more of a “white fantasist”.
The defence agreed that the material presented by the prosecution comprised an “awful, disgusting, vile series of posts.”
Upward told the court that Stables had a long history of dealing with Asperger’s.
The defendant’s favourite uncle is openly gay and his best friend is black, Upward added.
The trial is expected to last for two weeks.