Independent (England), Nov. 23, 2002
By Jason Bennetto
A white supremacist who amassed an arsenal of guns, ammunition and bomb equipment at home as he plotted to spark a race war was jailed yesterday for 11 years. The judge in Oxford Crown court said David Tovey, 37, lived a “fantasy life as a lone commando”.
The bodybuilding and ice-skating fanatic, from Carterton, admitted explosives and firearms charges at his trial in October, and scrawling racist graffiti. Judge Mary Jane Mowat said: “The weapons, the body-building equipment, the military car, the military clothing, all suggest the fantasy life of a lone commando.”
Tovey was caught by chance in February this year after CCTV filmed him scrawling abuse in a petrol station toilet in Stratford-upon-Avon. Police investigating a spate of racist graffiti in public toilets raided his rundown home and discovered the weapons, including home-made napalm. In a secret compartment, they found 1,000 rounds of ammunition, a Sten sub-machine gun, two pump-action shotguns, a pistol with silencer, Nato body-armour, several home-made bomb concoctions, a napalm substitute, CS gas and military plastic explosives. Officers believe he had stalked about a dozen black and Asian families and had also planned to attack a mosque in Swindon.
He admitted three explosives charges and six firearms charges and was found guilty of two charges of racially aggravated criminal damage in relation to the graffiti. The prosecution had said Tovey was trying to stir up a backlash against blacks and Asians with his anti-white racist graffiti campaign. Police also found a letter, magazine and newspaper from the far-right British National Party addressed to him.
But detectives said Tovey was a strange loner, a man with an unremarkable past who had no criminal record. In 1989, he married a woman of Chinese origin and for five years they ran a take-away restaurant in Birmingham before separating. He also had a Jamaican girlfriend for 16 years. Tovey has claimed these relationships showed he is not a racist.
But Judge Mowat said: “I do not accept that evidence and think it shows an arrogant superiority on behalf of Mr Tovey.” She said he was “a person with narcissistic personality traits and a mild trace of bitterness with a strong belief of entitlement and a need to take matters into his own hands”.
The judge cited the racist graffiti, his scribblings and an application to join the British National Party as indicative of Tovey’s real beliefs. She said it showed a desire to incite hatred and violence against non-British citizens, even if those fantasies had never been acted out. “The right catalyst could well have provoked him into acting out real violence against persons or property.”
She said her sentencing should reflect the public anxiety about guns, bombs and racial hatred.