White supremacist jailed over chemical weapon

A white supremacist who became the first person to be sentenced for producing a chemical weapon was jailed for 10 years today.

Racist Ian Davison, 42, manufactured enough ricin to kill nine people and kept it in a jar in his kitchen for two years.

He was jailed at Newcastle Crown Court alongside his teenage son Nicky, who was a fellow member of a group known as the Aryan Strike Force.

Davison Jnr was sentenced to two years in a young offenders' institution.

Davison Snr, of Burnopfield, County Durham, previously admitted producing a chemical weapon, preparing acts of terrorism, three counts of possessing material useful to commit acts of terror and one count of possessing a prohibited weapon.

His 19-year-old son, of Annfield Plain, County Durham, was convicted of three counts of possessing material useful for acts of terror following a trial a fortnight ago. The charges related to downloading copies of the Anarchist's Cookbook and The Poor Man's James Bond on two computers.

Davison Snr created ricin at his home in 2006 or early 2007, Andrew Edis QC, prosecuting, said.

It was found when police raided the property in June last year and was now stored at the UK's Porton Down chemical weapons centre.

Davison Snr researched how to make the killer chemical and then followed instructions, having bought its easily-sourced ingredients.

Mr Edis said: "He was a leading member of the ASF which was a neo-Nazi organisation dedicated to using violence.

"Its slogan was 'Whatever it takes'.

"The purpose of the violence was the creation of an international Aryan group who would establish white supremacy in white countries.

"They were followers of the ideology of Adolf Hitler, who they revered, and whose work Mein Kampf was among many available on their website."

Mr Edis said the ASF had around 350 members recruited via the internet, though not all were active.

Other alleged members will face trial later this year.

Mr Edis said: "The prosecution case is this defendant intended to perpetrate acts of terrorism.

"The ricin which he made would be used in pursuit in the cause espoused by the group."

The Crown said the group had not picked out particular targets, but had run a training camp in Cumbria and made promotional films.

Members discussed posting cockroaches through letterboxes of Asian restaurants and shops with the aim of encouraging infestations and getting them closed down.

The ASF, also known as the Wolf Pack, aimed to overthrow "Zionist" governments, and considered itself to be the country's most right-wing group.

Davison Snr was in contact with a Nazi in Serbia and the pair discussed poisoning water supplies used by Muslims, Mr Edis said.

The defendant also wrote on a forum: "The Jew is the Aryan's sworn enemy above all."

It financed itself through selling items such as keyrings and mouse mats through its website.

Davison Snr possessed many copies of terror guidebooks such as the Anarchist's Cookbook and made them available to download.

Toby Hedworth QC, defending, said a psychological report showed Davison Snr was a "superwimp not a savage" who had a "fragile ego".

"A very small amount (of ricin) was eventually produced and nothing was done with it," he said.

Mr Hedworth said the internet let his client feel important, by being useful to the group.

"It allows people to effectively make themselves whatever they wish to be," he said.

"The more he would talk big, the greater esteem he appeared to be held in by these people."

Peter Carter QC, for Davison Jnr, said he was of previous good character and had been corrupted by his father.

He has now thrown away any chance of an Army career, the court heard.

Judge John Milford expressed surprise that the Anarchist's Cookbook was still available to buy on the Amazon website, and asked the authorities to look into it.

The US Center for Disease Control suggested that as little as 500mg (0.02oz) ricin - about half a grain of rice - could be lethal if injected or inhaled, and has no known antidote.

Passing sentence, Judge Milford told the father: "A particularly unpleasant aggravating feature of this case is that you corrupted your son.

"The fact he sits in the dock with you today, about to go to prison with the hopes of joining the Armed Forces dashed, is the result of your appalling parenting."

Neither father nor son reacted in the dock as both were jailed.

The judge said he accepted the son was influenced by his father.

"But you were actively in the website and expressed on it the same vile, racist views as your father," he said.

"I accept you knew nothing of the ricin."

Outside court, Detective Superintendent Neil Malkin said he wanted terror manuals removed from the internet.

"This is a landmark case and will bring the attention of the authorities at a national level to the need to restrict these documents," he said.

He said just downloading the Anarchist's Cookbook from the internet was an offence.

The detective said: "Clearly, Amazon needs to look at what happened today in this case and reflect on the availability of these manuals."

He added: "Ian Davison was only one step away from producing a terrorist event."

Outside court, Stuart Laidlaw of the CPS counter terror division said: "People should make no mistake about how serious Ian and Nicky Davison were in their hatred of anyone who they considered a 'threat' to 'their' race.

"It is clear that they wanted to take violent, direct action and to that end they both downloaded terror manuals from the internet."