(TMU) — A right-wing extremist in the U.K. is being sentenced indefinitely to state custody in a secure hospital after setting fire to a Jewish temple last year, while also engulfing himself in flames in what was a strange case of instant Karma.
The far-right terrorist, Tristan Morgan, had been spotted walking away from the synagogue after setting the building alight.
Witnesses claim that the man was laughing and holding a petrol container. Prosecutors claim that Morgan is a self-styled folk singer who produced songs “exhorting others to violence” against Jews, racial and ethnic minorities and hoarded propaganda that “revelled in the degenerate views of Nazi Germany and white supremacists.”
The man, who is now 52, admitted to the charge of arson with intent to endanger life on July 21, 2018, as well as two charges under the U.K.’s Terrorism Act, according to Plymouth Live.
In footage played in court, Morgan can be seen breaking a small window at Exeter Synagogue with a small axe. He then splashes fuel through the broken window with a green gas canister before igniting it with wads of burning paper.
He is then engulfed in flames as a fireball blasts him in the face.
Prosecutor Alistair Richardson said:
“He appeared to be laughing, while trying to flatten his hair, which she described as looking like it had been ‘whooshed up’.”
After patting his scorched head, Morgan drove off in a Mercedes Vito van. Witnesses claim the man appeared “cocky” as he escaped the scene.
Firefighters found a severe fire in the synagogue, which is the third oldest in Britain and a hub of Jewish religious and cultural life in the city. The cost of damage is estimated to be over $28,000 (or £23,000).
After Morgan’s van was identified by CCTV video cameras, he was arrested in his Exeter home.
Officers claim that when they arrived at his home, the defendant said: “that didn’t take long.”
Morgan, who also stank of fuel and smoke, then gloated:
“Please tell me that synagogue is burning to the ground—if not, it’s poor preparation.”
Morgan chose to carry out the attack on a day coinciding with a Jewish feast commemorating disasters, including the Holocaust, according to Mirror.
Local head of police Superintendent Matt Lawler said:
“Morgan is clearly very unwell and following multiple detailed medical assessments it is clear that a hospital order is appropriate. He will be subject of further assessments and close monitoring for many years to come.
The footage, which was played in open court, shows the level of planning, determination and intent by Morgan, whom the wider evidence clearly showed held abhorrent extreme right-wing, anti-Semitic, and white supremacist views. It is only by sheer chance that the synagogue was empty and indeed that Morgan himself sustained only minor burns.”
Typos, corrections and/or news tips? Email us at [email protected]