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The BBC's Stephen Cape
"A careful and calculating killer"
 real 28k

Phil Maddock, victim's father
"He comes across as a liar and a coward"
 real 28k

Stephen Copeland, killer's father
"He is still in a psychotic state"
 real 28k

The BBC's Nicholas Witchell
has been looking at the effect on the lives of the victims.
 real 28k

Friday, 30 June, 2000, 22:49 GMT 23:49 UK
Nailbomb killer gets life
John Light, Nik Moore, Andrea Dykes
Victims of hate: John Light, Nik Moore, Andrea Dykes
A man has been sentenced to six life sentences for three murders carried out during a 13-day reign of terror in London.

David Copeland, 24, of Farnborough, Hampshire, had admitted causing three explosions in London's Brixton, Brick Lane and Soho, which killed three and injured 129.

David Copeland
Copeland wanted a race war
The blast in April of last year at the Admiral Duncan, a popular gay pub in Soho, killed Andrea Dykes, 27, who was pregnant, and friends John Light, 32 and Nik Moore, 31, from Essex.

Copeland had denied murder, admitting manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility due to paranoid schizophrenia.

But he faced a murder trial after the prosecution refused to accept his plea.

The Old Bailey jury of four women and eight men decided he was not suffering from diminished responsibility at the time of his attacks, meaning he was guilty of all three murders.

Copeland showed no emotion as the verdict was read out in court.

'Mayhem and terror'

Sentencing him, the Recorder of London, Judge Mr Michael Hyam, said: "Anyone who has heard the facts of this case will be appalled and horrified at the atrocity of your crimes."

"Nothing can excuse or justify the evil you have done and certainly not the abhorrent views which you have embraced.


Nothing can excuse or justify the evil you have done

Judge Mr Michael Hyam
"It is only too apparent from what you have said you have no feelings for those lives you have afflicted.

"The public must be protected from you and assured that if you are ever released it will not be for a very long time."

People in the public gallery, including victims injured in Copeland's bomb attacks, cheered and clapped as the verdict was read out.

The father of one of his victims called out: "Rot in hell."

Nazi flag
Copeland's bedroom was draped in Nazi flags
The court was told during the trial that Copeland sympathised with Aryan beliefs that black, Asian and gay people should not be allowed to live.

Members of the Anti-Nazi League gathered outside court to welcome the verdict.

Phil Maddock, the father of Andrea Dykes, who was killed in the Soho bombing, told BBC News 24 of his "relief" that Copeland received life sentences.

Asked if he thought justice had been done, he said: "Yes, if there is any justice in the world he has got the correct decision, although that does not make me feel any better."

Medication

Copeland's solicitor, Peter Silver, told reporters outside the Old Bailey after the verdict that it was unclear how his client was feeling.

He said Copeland was receiving heavy-duty anti-psychotic medication as well as counselling.

"It is too early to say if he could recover from his condition," he said.

Copeland and John Tyndall, (BBC copyright)
Copeland with ex-BNP party leader John Tyndall
Copeland's brother, Jonathan, said: "Dave is a very sick boy. Broadmoor is the best place for him.

"If six psychiatrists say he is mentally ill and it is not accepted by the court, what does that say about our health system? What does that say about the top doctors in Broadmoor?"

Anti-Nazi activists pictured Copeland alongside ex-British National Party leader John Tyndall three years ago at a BNP rally in London.

He is seen alongside Mr Tyndall directly after the BNP leader had been attacked by counter-protestors.

Copeland is also seen at one point being spoken to by police officers at the scene.

'Tireless' police operation

Scotland Yard deputy assistant commissioner Alan Fry said the police force had worked tirelessly and with tremendous dedication to identify and arrest the bomber.

CCTV footage taken by businesses of their shop fronts was crucial in identifying Copeland.

Mr Fry said the arrest had been essential to restore confidence and assurance to London.

He added that the police investigation had liased from day one with members of the public, and he also praised the media for their co-operation in highlighting their hunt.

A special Panorama documentary on David Copeland is being screened on BBC1 on Friday at 2130 BST. Click here for the Panorama nailbomber special.

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See also:

30 Jun 00 | UK
Relief at bomber verdict
30 Jun 00 | UK
'My son was mentally ill'
30 Jun 00 | UK
'Justice has been done'
30 Jun 00 | UK
CCTV helped trap killer
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