White supremacist convicted of planning killing spree in Cumbria

Shane Fletcher

Shane Fletcher has been convicted of planning a killing spree in Cumbria. Image: Greater Manchester Police/PA

Friday, January 25, 2019

A 21-year-old white supremacist has been convicted of planning a killing spree at a medieval-themed football match in Cumbria.

Shane Fletcher had spoken of how easy it would be to get a van and plough down people at the event, which sees thousands gather in the streets in his home town of Workington, Manchester Crown Court heard.

He was arrested on March 10 last year, after his probation officer contacted police when Mr Fletcher said the only thing standing in his way of carrying out the mass murder was a lack of cash and access to weapons.

Police also found a diary under his sofa which contained written instructions on how to make a pipe bomb and improvised napalm.



One entry read: "On the 4th April Workington will be oblitrated (sic), everything and everyone will be destroyed. I will show no mercy killing you so called humans I will be doing it with a smirk on my face you dirty canceras (sic) pricks...

"I have started this diary counting down the days to WM witch (sic) will be the most exciting day of my life I plan."

It emerged that the loner idolised Columbine killers Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, who murdered 12 students and one teacher at their school in Colorado in 1999 before killing themselves, and had a picture of the pair lying dead on his phone.

The Cumbrian town of Workington. Image: Google Maps

Nine months before his arrest, Mr Fletcher had been referred to the government's counter-terror programme, Prevent, after he told his probation officer he was a risk to minorities and had dreamt of shooting up a mosque.

On Thursday, Fletcher was found guilty of one count of soliciting to murder and two counts of collecting or making a record of information useful for terrorism purposes.

The Crown said the defendant's unhealthy obsession with mass murderers and serial killers - fuelled by watching TV documentaries - including West Cumbria spree killer Derrick Bird, eventually developed into a desire to target his home town.

Sentencing was adjourned until March 14 for a psychiatric report to be prepared.