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, 19-year-old Dimitar Mihaylov, 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 that he “hate (sic) all non-English and want them all out of 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 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 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 in the neck and hands. 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 hands and was treated in hospital.
During the investigation, officers found a knife with the victim’s blood on it on the route between Fuller’s home and the car park. They also found half a baseball bat discarded on 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 March 22, 2019.
Fuller previously pleaded guilty to:
He was today jailed for 18 years.
Detective Chief Superintendent Kath Barnes, head of CTPSE, said: “Fuller is clearly an incredibly dangerous and disturbed 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, meaning CTPSE’s team of specialist detectives and investigators were able to pick up the inquiry with assistance from our colleagues at Surrey Police.
“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 were abhorrent and had a negative impact on 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 Counter Terrorism Policing South East 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 our faith community.
“Our message is simple – hate crime will absolutely not be tolerated. Discrimination of any form is repulsive and will not be accepted in our communities.
“If you have suspicions about someone’s behaviour or radical beliefs we urge you 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.”
Police and Crime Commissioner for Surrey David Munro said: “The appalling violence displayed that day in March were the actions of a dangerous individual driven by hate.
“Such poisonous ideology has no place in our society and our communities must continue to stand together to ensure people like Fuller do not succeed in creating division and disharmony.
“I would like to commend the immediate actions of the armed police officers on the ground in apprehending Fuller shortly after the attack and the swift and thorough investigation that followed which resulted in him being brought to justice today.”