A man with white supremacist views who went on a rampage and tried to kill a man because he was “non-English” has been jailed.
Vincent Fuller stabbed the victim, a 19-year-old Bulgarian man, in the neck through a car window as part of a plan to “kill a Muslim”.
Kingston Crown Court heard that the 50-year-old, of Viola Avenue, Stanwell, had been watching videos of the terrorist attack in Christchurch, New Zealand, and had previously posted on his Facebook page that he “agreed with what that man did in New Zealand” and in a separate post added “kill all the non English (sic) and get them all out of our of (sic) England”.
Fuller was involved in a number of separate incidents on Saturday, 16 March, before finally attacking his victim, who was sat in a car in a Tesco car park.
Shortly before 10.30pm, he tried to confront his neighbours, who were of Asian heritage, armed with a baseball bat.
After being denied access to the house and shouting racist abuse at the occupants, he moved on, walking in the middle of a busy nearby road – Town Lane – where he began to attack oncoming cars with the baseball bat at random. He hit a number of vehicles, while continuing to shout pro-white supremacist slogans and offensive racist slurs.
After splitting the baseball bat, he briefly returned home and changed his clothes, before walking to a nearby supermarket.
He found two men sitting in a parked car and, as he believed them to be non-white, he attacked one of them, stabbing him through an open window. He then made off from the scene but was arrested shortly after by armed officers from Surrey Police.
The victim sustained injuries to his neck and hand and was treated in hospital.
During the investigation, officers found a knife on the route between Fuller’s home and the car park. They also found half a baseball bat discarded in Town Lane, where Fuller had attacked various cars. The other half was found inside his house, a short distance away.
While being arrested he continued to shout racist abuse and spat at officers.
The attack was declared a terrorist incident the following day, and Counter Terrorism Police South East (CTPSE) then took over the investigation. Fuller was charged on 22 March.
Fuller previously pleaded guilty to –
- Attempted murder, contrary to section 1 (1) the Criminal Attempts Act 1981
- Causing racially aggravated intentional harassment, alarm or distress, contrary to section 31(1)(a) of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998
- Affray, contrary to section 3 (1) Public Order Act 1986
- Possession of a bladed article, contrary to section 139 (1) Criminal Justice Act 1988
His Honour Judge Lodder QC, determining that the stabbing was terrorism, sentenced Fuller to 18 years and nine months in jail, serving a minimum of 12 years and three months before being considered for release.
Detective Chief Superintendent Kath Barnes, Head of CTPSE, said: “Fuller is clearly an incredibly angry and dangerous individual, who went out of his way looking for someone of non-white appearance to attack. It is fortunate that the victim was able to defend himself despite being confined to his car, as otherwise this would undoubtedly have been a murder investigation.
“Given the context of his actions, notably in the aftermath of the horrendous events in New Zealand, the decision was taken to declare this a terrorist incident. Following the initial response from Surrey Police, specialist detectives and investigators from CTPSE were deployed to lead the enquiry with ongoing assistance from our Surrey colleagues.
“We are committed to tackling all forms of toxic extremist ideology, which has the potential to threaten public safety and security. Extreme right wing investigations are pursued by our officers with exactly the same level of resource and vigour as other forms of extremist ideology.
“I’d like to pay tribute to the victim of this incident and his resolution throughout the events and the aftermath. I’d also like to thank the officers from Surrey Police who courageously apprehended Fuller, along with the investigators who made sure the evidence amounted gave him little option but to plead guilty.”
Superintendent Andy Rundle, from Surrey Police, said: “Vincent Fuller’s actions on that night in Stanwell will undoubtedly live long in the memory of local residents who I hope have been reassured by our actions to swiftly arrest him.
“Officers were scouring the area for Fuller as numerous reports were made by members of the public about his threatening behaviour with a baseball bat. Local response officers, supported by a specialist firearms team, arrested him three minutes after the knife attack that then followed. Since then we have continued to support our colleagues at CTPSE in their investigation.
“Given Fuller’s hate-filled motivation, we doubled our efforts to support the affected local communities in Stanwell and the wider Spelthorne area, and have forged stronger than ever relationships, specifically with local mosques as well as with communities of all faiths.
“Our message is simple – hate crime will absolutely not be tolerated. Discrimination of any form is abhorrent and will not be accepted in our communities.
“If you have suspicions about someone’s behaviour or radical beliefs you will always be encouraged to report this via Anti-Terrorist Hotline on 0800 789 321. Any piece of information could be important; no matter how small or insignificant it may seem, it’s better to be safe and report it.
“Places of worship can also use our online training package ‘ACT Awareness eLearning’ for advice on Protective Security and how to react should the worst happen. It can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/news/act-awareness-elearning.
Every year thousands of reports from the public help police tackle the terrorist threat. If you see or hear something unusual or suspicious trust your instincts and ACT by reporting it in confidence at gov.uk/ACT. Reporting won’t ruin lives, but it could save them. Action Counters Terrorism.
Remember, in an emergency, always dial 999.