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Torquay pair sentenced after right wing 'terrorism' arrests
6:00am Tuesday 24th September 2013 in News
Two Torquay men have been sentanced after spate of graffiti and Islamic centres targeted by threatening letters.
John Roddy, aged 20, and Tobias Ruth, aged 19, both from Torquay, were sentenced at Exeter Crown Court.
Ruth was sentenced to 33 months imprisonment to be served a young offenders’ institute and Roddy was sentenced to 23 months, suspended for two years.
Ruth and Roddy were both convicted of conspiring to commit criminal damage and conspiring to send malicious letters. Roddy was also convicted for possessing material that is likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism.
Detective Inspector Costa Nassaris, from Devon and Cornwall’s Major Crime Investigation Team, said: “Devon and Cornwall Police will deal robustly with any attempt to spread hatred or fear within our communities and I would like to highlight the community spirit which saw local residents come together with the Islamic centre to assist in the cleanup of offensive graffiti.
“I would like to reassure the community there was no indication of the public being at immediate risk of serious harm and there is little to indicate that these men had embarked on preparing for any terrorist acts themselves. The police have worked closely with other agencies to ensure that any risk is appropriately managed.
“I would also like to thank the detectives from the major crime team and the local officers for their professionalism in investigating these offences and bringing the offenders to justice.”
Between July 2012 and January 2013 there were a number of acts of vandalism around the Torbay area in which people have daubed the letters “KT” onto buildings and property. Additionally several religious establishments, predominantly Islamic, have received threatening letters signed KT 2083.
On the January 3 John Roddy, age 20, was stopped in Hatfield Road, Torquay and arrested by alert patrol officers who suspected him of spray painting graffiti relating to KT.
A search of his home address found material relating to the Knights Templar and poison pen type letters that suggested an extreme right wing ideology.
When lists were found relating to explosives the search was suspended and Roddy was arrested under the Terrorism Act.
Tobias Ruth, age 19, was arrested later that day on suspicion of terrorism due to his links with Roddy and the suspicion that they were acting together. Ruth and Roddy were both released from the Terrorism Act custody on the January 5 while enquiries continued.
A search of Roddy’s laptop revealed documents including; the Al Qaeda training manual and Anders Breivik’s 2083 European declaration of independence. These include instructions on how to manufacture explosives and advice on surveillance and counter surveillance.
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