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Mosque Bomb Plotter Sentenced To 4 Years In Prison
11 April 2019, 06:56 | Updated: 11 April 2019, 07:04
A man who plotted to blow up a mosque with stockpiled fireworks has been sentenced to 4 years in prison.
Steven Bishop, was sentenced at Kingston Crown Court to four years' imprisonment with an additional year to be served on licence in relation to an explosives offence. Bishop pleaded guilty at at the same court to possession of an explosive substance with intent.
He’d previously pleaded guilty to collection or making a record of information of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism.
Bishop was arrested by Counter Terrorism detectives after police were contacted by a key worker after he told her he was intending to target a mosque.
The court heard that Bishop had stockpiled a quantity of fireworks and parts with the intention of building an improvised incendiary device and targeting a mosque.
At sentencing, Judge Peter Lodder QC, said: "The detonation of one or more of these fireworks at Morden mosque may have risked the lives of those nearby."
Officers identified that Bishop had bought a smartphone on 18 October 2018. The first searches made on the phone were for instructions on how to access the ‘dark web’ and he carried out research on how to conduct covert internet searches.
Bishop had viewed videos about the Manchester, London Bridge and Paris terrorist attacks, and posted comments online.
In one comment Bishop replied to a Facebook video on the victims of the Manchester Arena attack, saying: “don’t worry something bad is going to happen soon mark my words”.
The court was told he had repeatedly searched for memorials to the youngest victim of the attack - eight-year-old Saffie-Rose Roussos.
One online comment Bishop made said: "I'm in love with my buitiful [sic] Saffie god bless you xx." Bishop used an online search side to find Saffie-Rose's grave.
Commander Clarke Jarrett head of the Met's Counter Terrorism Command said that in light of recent events in New Zealand police are stepping up support for faith communities.
Commander Jarrett said: “Specialist officers continue to provide support and protective security advice to mosques, and indeed all places of worship across the UK on how to best keep their buildings and visitors safe."