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The BBC's Stephen Cape
"He is alleged to have told prison staff 'I'm not mad'"
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Monday, 5 June, 2000, 20:22 GMT 21:22 UK
Net 'used to build nailbombs'
Admiral Duncan
The Admiral Duncan bomb claimed three lives
The man accused of murdering three people in a central London pub bombing learned how to make the explosive on the internet, a court has heard.

David Copeland, 24, an engineer from Farnborough, Hampshire, was charged with the murders after the attack on the Admiral Duncan in Soho in April 1999.

David Copeland
David Copeland's trial is expected to last a fortnight
He has denied murder, but admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

He has also pleaded guilty to causing explosions in Brixton, the East End and the pub in Soho during a two-week period.

On the first day of the murder trial at the Old Bailey, the court heard that Mr Copeland told police he was a Nazi and had been planning to target the multi-cultural community of Southall when he was caught.

Nigel Sweeney QC, prosecuting, told the jury David Copeland downloaded two books on bomb-making from the internet.

Mr Copeland had gone to the Internet Cafe in Victoria, central London, and had downloaded two "manuals" on how to make bombs.

After downloading the instructions Mr Copeland began experimenting with explosive ingredients at his bedsit, it was alleged.

Gary Reid
Gary Reid, injured in the Soho bomb, arrives at court
Mr Sweeney said each bomb was "designed to be lethal".

He told the court that Mr Copeland had planted his first bomb near a bus stop near the Iceland store in Brixton on 17 April.

When it exploded it injured more than 50 people. Two people lost eyes and nine had nails embedded in their bodies.

It was followed a week later by an explosion in Brick Lane, the heart of London's Bangladeshi community, in the East End.

Bombs 'broadly the same'

The blast injured 79 people, four of whom lost legs.

The third bomb, on 30 April, was at the Admiral Duncan public house in Old Compton Street, Soho, popular with gay people.

The three who died in the pub blast at 1840 BST were Andrea Dykes, 27, John Light, 32 and Nik Moore, 31.

They were out celebrating after the Dykes asked Mr Light to be godfather to their child.

Mr Sweeney told the court the three bombs were the same broad type and hidden inside a sports bag.

He told the court that at 1830 BST, police received information from someone who recognised Mr Copeland as the man in the Brixton pictures - but it was too late to prevent the Soho bombing.

Brick Lane
Aftermath of Brick Lane bombing
Mr Copeland was eventually traced after his picture from CCTV footage in Brixton was recognised, the jury heard.

"He admitted at the outset that he was the bomber and he was acting alone," said Mr Sweeney.

The lawyer added that after his arrest, Mr Copeland told police he wanted to start a "race war".

'Southall next'

During long interviews, Mr Copeland "indicated that if he had not been arrested, he would have gone on in due course to bomb Southall", he told the court.

Southall is a west London suburb which houses a large Asian community, mainly made up of ethnic Indians.

Mr Sweeney said: "He thought his bombs would be the spark to set fire to this country and would set off a racial war and get whites to vote for the British National Party. The planting of these bombs were clearly hate crimes."

Mr Copeland had also told police he was homophobic - and this was the reason he targeted the pub, said Mr Sweeney.

Before they were sworn in jurors were asked if any of them belonged to race, equality or gay rights groups.

They were also asked if they knew anyone affected by the three bomb attacks. None had.

The trial - expected to last two weeks - was adjourned until Tuesday.

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