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Anti-Muslim extremist who praised US killer sentenced

|News, Terrorism

A man who wrote letters offering to donate £100 to charity for every member of a racial or religious minority that was murdered has been given a 12.5 year sentence today (3 September).

The court ruled that David Parnham was suffering from a mental disorder and should be detained in hospital. If and when Parnham is deemed to no longer require treatment he will be moved to prison.

Parnham, 36, expressed particular hatred for Muslims and in July 2016 began sending a series of hate filled letters to mosques, individual Muslims and others. Some contained a suspicious white powder which was later found to be harmless.

In December 2016 he wrote to Dylann Roof, a white supremacist responsible for shooting dead nine black parishioners in South Carolina, to express his respect and outlined his own letter writing terror campaign.

At a hearing at the Old Bailey in October 2018 Parnham pleaded guilty to sending the letters intending to cause distress and carrying out hoaxes involving noxious substances. He also admitted soliciting murder in relation to letters that asked recipients to kill people from minority groups including Jews, Asians and Afro-Caribbean people. The letters included suggestions on how to kill and an offer to donate £100 to charity for each killing.

Parnham also pleaded guilty to sending Muslims the “Punish A Muslim Day” series of letters last year. They encouraged people to commit acts of violence against Muslims and contained a “score sheet” in which a variety of acts were proposed ranging from verbal abuse to attacking the holy site in Mecca.

In February 2017 he sent drawings to mosques and Islamic centres around the country. One of the images was of a sword cutting off someone’s head. The sword featured a swastika and above it was written “you are going to be slaughtered very soon”. The letter was signed “Muslim slayer”.

In August 2017 a mosque in Sheffield received a letter saying; “I have left a little present for you. It will go off in a short period of time”. It was a hoax designed to make the recipients think there was a bomb nearby.

Parnham refused to provide police with samples of his handwriting but examples recovered from his workplace provided matches with the letters. His fingerprints were also found on the letters. He used his bank card to buy almost 800 stamps at a cost of just under £1,000 over the period that several of the letters were sent.

Jenny Hopkins from the CPS said: “David Parnham is a white supremacist with a particular hatred for Muslims. 

“He launched a two year terror campaign to create fear and social division between Muslims and non-Muslims.

“This successful prosecution means he is no longer a danger to the public and communities are safer with him in custody.”

Notes to editors

  • David Parnham (09/01/1983) pleaded guilty to 15 counts at the Old Bailey on 12 October. They were:
    • Hoaxes involving noxious substances, contrary to section 114(1) of the Anti-Terrorism Crime and Security Act 2001 – x5
    • Sending letters with intent to cause distress or anxiety, contrary to section 1 of the Malicious Communications Act 1988 – x7
    • Soliciting to murder, contrary to section 4 of the Offences Against the Persons Act 1861 – x1
    • Bomb hoaxes, contrary to section 51 of the Criminal Law Act 1977 – x1
    • Encouraging offences believing one or more will be committed, contrary to section 46 of the Serious Crime Act 2007 – x1
  • Jenny Hopkins is Head of the Special Crime and Counter Terrorism Division in the CPS.

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