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The BBC's Stephen Cape
"He fantasised about chaos and destruction"
 real 28k

Friday, 9 June, 2000, 17:55 GMT 18:55 UK
Nailbomber 'backed death penalty'
Soho pub bomb
Three people died in the Soho bomb blast
London nailbomber David Copeland told police he believed in the death penalty for killers and said it was "his destiny" to plant bombs, the Old Bailey has heard.

Copeland, accused of murdering three people with a pipebomb planted at the Admiral Duncan pub in Soho, said murderers, perverts and sexual offenders should be hanged.

The trial was halted for the day after he was not well enough to sit in the dock and concentrate on witnesses' evidence.

Judge Michael Hyam told the Old Bailey jury he would adjourn the case until Monday.

Copeland has not been in dock on some other occasions during the trial and was accompanied by a nurse on Thursday.

Judge Hyam said it was important for him to be in court to hear the evidence.


I woke up one morning and thought 'I am going to do it'

David Copeland

Earlier the court heard that Copeland, a recent convert to the National Socialist movement, Copeland supported white domination and the "national lifestyle - no crime, no class."

Bomb obsession

Copeland, an engineer working on the Jubilee Line underground extension, has admitted causing explosions in Soho, Brick Lane and Brixton in April 1999, in which three people were killed and 129 injured.

Admiral Duncan pub sign
Copeland admits planting three bombs in London

He faces murder charges after prosecutors refused to accept his guilty pleas to manslaughter, on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

Andrea Dykes, 27, and friends John Light, 32 and Nik Moore, 31, from Essex were killed in the Admiral Duncan pub blast, and Mrs Dykes' husband Julian was severely injured.

Although Copeland believed in white superiority he said he would not exclude groups such as Jews, telling police: "I am not a Hitlerite."

He revealed he was "obsessed" with bombings, saying: "It was something I wanted to do. I just got bonded towards it."

Copeland started thinking about bombing a year before, initially as a joke, but, he said: "I just could not get it out of my head.

"Then I woke up one morning and thought 'I am going to do it'."

Asked why he kept press cuttings, he replied: "I like to get off on them. I like to see my handiwork."

'My destiny'

He said he knew his bombs would hurt, maim and kill people but did not fantasise about it, thinking instead about "the chaos and destruction that would be caused".

Copeland said he had not cared about being killed while carrying the bomb.

"In some way I hoped it would kill me," he told police. "I just did what I had to do it - it was my destiny."

David Copeland
David Copeland: "I am not a Hitlerite"

Copeland did not wait to see the Soho blast but watched it on the TV news.

Asked what he would have done if he had not been caught, he replied: "I would be planning my next bombing. I am pretty sure of that."

Describing his heroes as Adolf Hitler, Stalin and Saddam Hussein, he said: "I think the British people have a right to ethnic cleansing."

He added that he believed a right-wing group such as the National Socialists would soon be ruling Britain and said: "I believe within five years I will be released."

He added: "Every right-winger will be thinking they will have to blow something up now."

The 24-year-old said he spent 55 a week on renting his bedsit in Farnborough, Hampshire, and described smoking as his "only vice".

But although he had not had a girlfriend in three years, he admitted using Soho prostitutes about once a month.

The case continues on Monday.

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