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The BBC's Stephen Cape
"David Copeland did not sit in the dock this morning"
 real 28k

Tuesday, 6 June, 2000, 18:15 GMT 19:15 UK
Nailbomber: 'It was my destiny'
Brick Lane bombing
The Brick Lane bomb exploded inside a car
The man accused of murder following the Soho nailbomb attack last year felt it was his destiny to kill, the Old Bailey has heard.

"I just had to do it," David Copeland is alleged to have told police after the bomb at the Admiral Duncan pub in April 1999 which killed three people.

The court heard that he worshipped Hitler, Stalin, Saddam Hussein and an American serial killer.

David Copeland
David Copeland's trial is expected to last a fortnight
Mr Copeland, 24, an engineer from Farnborough, Hampshire, is charged with the murder of three people after the Soho attack in April 1999.

He has admitted causing explosions in Brixton, Brick Lane and Soho over a two-week period. But he denies murder, admitting manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

The prosecution alleges Mr Copeland launched the bombing campaign to ignite a race war in Britain.

The Brixton bomb was aimed at the black community and the Brick Lane explosion targeted the local Asian community, it says. The final bomb exploded in a bar popular with gay people.

'Joke bomb'

A market trader, the first witness to give evidence at the trial, told the court how he thought at first the Brixton bomb was a joke.

Miles Macleod, 23, told the court he was working in Brixton market on 17 April 1999 when he noticed a sports bag on the floor.

Upon closer inspection, he saw it contained pink tissue paper, nails, a clock of some sort, two batteries and wires.

The bomb exploded as he was alerting police across the road, he said. More than 50 people were injured.

Miles Macleod
Miles Macleod alerted police
Paul Maskell, manager of the Iceland store in Brixton, told the court he left the building after being alerted about the bomb.

He and his security guard, Alah Menjor, were trying to keep people away when it exploded.

"When it went off, everything seemed to go blank," he said.

"The next thing I knew, I was inside the shop. I had a nail sticking out of my head and one in my left side. There were cuts the length of my body."

Pc Ian Clifford told the court he was walking towards the bomb when it went off.

"I lost my hearing. I felt blood dripping down from my head and a tingling pain at the top of my legs."

'No emotion'

The court was told Mr Copeland started preparing for the attack in Brick Lane a day after the bomb in Brixton.

He had planned to target the area's weekly market, but missed it by a day, said Nigel Sweeney, QC, prosecuting.

The bomb was spotted on 24 April by passer-by Gerrard Lynch, but it exploded before he could alert police, said Mr Sweeney.

Pregnant Andrea Dykes, 27, and friends John Light, 32 and Nik Moore, 31, all died in the third explosion in Soho on 30 April. Mrs Dykes' husband Julian was severely injured.

Aftermath of the Brick Lane bomb
Brick Lane bomb cases chaos
Police officers found Mr Copeland at home hours after the Soho blast.

He allegedly told the officers: "Yeah, they are all down to me. I did them on my own."

But he said he felt nothing over the attacks, the court heard.

"He felt no sadness, nor sorrow, nor joy at what he had done," Mr Sweeney said.

But Mr Copeland allegedly told police he felt sorry for the dead woman, Andrea Dykes, because she was pregnant.

The trial continues.

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