Page last updated at 15:31 GMT, Thursday, 5 June 2008 16:31 UK

Postman's racist terror campaign

Jefferson Azevedo
Azevedo will be sentenced on 13 June

A postman has admitted to planting a hoax bomb and sending hate-mail letters to leading figures, including former Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Jefferson Azevedo sent letters containing white powder or Nazi slogans to various people over a four-year period, Southwark Crown Court heard.

Azevedo, 45, of Langley Road, Portsmouth, admitted 19 offences and asked for another 140 to be considered.

They included nine charges under the Anti-Terrorism Act.

The court heard that letters - postmarked "Portsmouth and IoW" - were sent to the Royal Naval Dockyard in Portsmouth, and another was posted to the Attorney General's office in London as well as Mr Blair.

Two letters containing white powder were sent to St Albans Primary School in Havant.

They were all signed "RAHOWA" - a racist acronym also known as Racial Holy War used in the past by white supremacists.

The letters described former Home Office minister Beverley Hughes as a "race traitor" and criticised former prime minister for considering proposals to turn the former naval air station HMS Daedalus in Lee-on-the-Solent into an asylum centre.

The hoax bomb Azevedo planted on a footbridge over the A27 in Havant
In 2007 Azevedo planted a hoax bomb over the A27 in Havant

The 2004 plans were later dropped.

A number of media organisations in Hampshire also received letters and 22 letters were sent to churches, mosques and restaurants.

In February last year, Azevedo placed a hoax bomb on a bridge over the A27 near Havant, closing the road and causing five-mile tailbacks.

Det Insp John Geden, of Hampshire Constabulary, said: "The letters caused distress and fear to most of those who received them and the hoax bomb on the A27 caused traffic chaos when it was discovered.

"It must be remembered that when many of the letters - particularly those containing white powder - were sent, it was at a time of heightened tensions and a good deal of fear about a possible terrorist attack in the UK."

Investigations by police uncovered more than 150 letters had been sent to politicians and other high profile figures between 2003 and 2007.

Their contents featured swastikas and names of extreme right-wing groups, but police said Brazilian-born Azevedo had been acting alone.

Azevedo will be sentenced on 13 June.

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