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Ex-Ukip member guilty of terrorism after playing guitar to film of mosque attack

A police officer stands guard in front of the Masjid Al Noor mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, Sunday, March 17, 2019, where one of the two mass shootings occurred. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)
Dean Morrice strummed his guitar in time with gunshots as he watched footage of the Christchurch mosque atrocity (Picture: AP)

A former Ukip member who became a far right extremist has been convicted of terror offences.

Neo-Nazi Dean Morrice, 34, made a video of himself strumming his guitar to footage of the Christchurch mosque shooting, in which 51 people died.

In the film, Morrice wore a skull mask and played the instrument in time with the gunshots, just three days after the 2019 attack in New Zealand.

He also stockpiled chemicals used in home-made explosives and collected a cache of terrorism manuals and instructions for creating a 3D printed gun.

Morrice, of Paulton, Bristol, was on Thursday found guilty of having explosive substances and terror offences, including encouraging terrorism.

His trial at Kingston Crown Court heard how he regularly took part in far-right forums and had set up two of his own channels, glorifying figures from the Third Reich and hailing neo-Nazi terrorists as ‘saints’.

He told the court he had been a ‘fan’ of Nigel Farage and a member of Ukip ‘until a few years ago’ but then became more extreme.

Morrice, had joined the army as a driver aged 16 but left to run a small business fixing electronics.

Students display the New Zealand national flag next to flowers during a vigil in Christchurch on March 18, 2019, three days after a shooting incident at two mosques in the city that claimed the lives of 50 Muslim worshippers. - New Zealand will tighten gun laws in the wake of its worst modern-day massacre, the government said on March 18, as it emerged that the white supremacist accused of carrying out the killings at two mosques will represent himself in court. (Photo by ANTHONY WALLACE / AFP) (Photo credit should read ANTHONY WALLACE/AFP via Getty Images)
51 people died in the shooting in New Zealand (Picture: Getty)

Jurors heard how he enjoyed dressing up as a ‘right-wing fascist’ in outfits including a tactical vest and beret.

Although he admitted holding ‘facist and neo-Nazi views’, he denied the charges against him, saying he did not believe in ‘committing acts of violence towards ethnic or religious groups’.

Police raided his home on August 20, 2020, and found a 1kg of carbon, 1kg of potassium nitrate and 500g of sulphur in his garage – enough ingredients to make 1.3kg of gunpowder.

They also found 500kg of aluminium metal powder, 500kg of iron oxide in the garage and 25g of magnesium ribbon in the kitchen, which would make 680kg of thermite.

CHRISTCHURCH, NEW ZEALAND - MARCH 23: Armed police guard Al Noor mosque after it was officially reopened following last weeks attack, on March 23, 2019 in Christchurch, New Zealand. 50 people were killed, and dozens were injured in Christchurch on Friday, March 15 when a gunman opened fire at the Al Noor and Linwood mosques. The attack is the worst mass shooting in New Zealand's history. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)
Morrice glorified the terrorist responsible for the attack (Picture: Getty Images)

A gun-making manual and a document titled ‘Poor Man’s RPG’, were found stored on his mobile phone.

Morrice also owned two 3D printers in his garage and had a collection of files stored on an SD card which could have been used to create a viable firearm.

Prosecutor Naomi Parsons told the jury that while it is not illegal to hold neo-Nazi views, Morrice’s conduct ‘crossed the line into terrorism’.

Morrice said he had no intention of making a gun from his 3D printer, saying he did not think it could be done.

He claimed he had bought the chemicals found in his garage to pursue his interest in homebrewing.

Judge Peter Lodder QC remanded Morrice in custody ahead of sentencing on Monday.

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