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Prisoners sent letter bombs in race hate campaign waged from within prison walls

Prisoners sent letter bombs in race hate campaign waged from within prison walls

Categories: Latest News

Tuesday September 09 2014

BBC News, The Daily Telegraph and local papers Evening Telegraph, The Yorkshire Post, Hull Daily Mail, Halifax Courier, Northamptonshire Telegraph, The Huddersfield Daily Examiner and Buxton Advertiser all report on the sentencing of two serving prisoners who attempted to post explosive devices from a maximum security prison to Asian solicitors as part of a race hate campaign.

Bret Atkins, 24, and Jamie Snow, 27, constructed basic incendiary devices using crushed match heads in their prison cells at Full Sutton prison, near York, and sent them to law firms in Halifax as well as Nottingham.

While Atkins was serving a life term for murdering a man in Hull in 2009, Snow was serving an eight and a half year sentence for robbery, attempted robbery and possessing a firearm with intent.

Leeds Crown Court heard that Snow sent threatening letters in addition to the explosive devices. One of the letters included an illustration of how to make a bomb using a light bulb.

Prison officers intercepted Snow’s letter to Rahman Ravelli solicitors in Halifax in November 2012. They found an incendiary device made from crushed match heads and a striking device attached to the opening flap.

According to the prosecutor Jonathan Sandiford, upon being confronted about it, Snow commented “Two out of three is not bad”. Sandiford argued that Snow was “claiming he’d already sent another two”.

Snow had further sent a threatening letter to another law firm, signing it off as “your neighbourhood Muslim-killer”.

Moreover, Snow also wrote a letter to a probation officer in which he referred to Asian people as “dirty disgusting vermin”.

Similarly, Atkins sent a letter with an incendiary device to Carrington’s Solicitors in Nottingham. It was also intercepted. The message was signed off with “Ha, ha, ha, boom. I’ve got my eyes on you.”

Prison officers heard Atkins bragging during phone calls about his competition with Snow to kill the prison imam. He was heard saying “Me and Snowy have got a deal – whoever gets to him first can have an ounce of amber leaf (tobacco).”

In addition, the pair also daubed threats against Muslims on the walls of their prison cells with excrement.

The judge was told both men had a “shared racial hatred” of Asian people as they had further threatened to kill Asian prisoners, and burn down mosques.

Both Atkins and Snow appeared in court via videolink from Whitemoor and Wakefield prisons respectively.

Atkins’ barrister, Philippa Eastwood, claimed “He had converted to Islam since he has been at HMP Whitemoor and has been a practising Muslim in the time since he had been there.”

After the hearing, Detective Chief Superintendent Ian Wilson of the north east counter-terrorism unit stated: “Bret Atkins and Jamie Snow waged a campaign of hate against innocent people, choosing victims purely on the grounds of their race or religion. They expressed deeply racist and anti-Muslim views and sent a series of threatening letters, designed to instil fear in their recipients.”

Atkins was sentenced to an additional seven years after a jury found him guilty in July of conspiracy to send an explosive substance with intent to burn. The judge ordered for the sentence to begin 18 months before the end of Atkins’ current 20 year minimum term meaning the minimum term of his life sentence has increasedto 22 years.

Snow was given an extended sentence of six years and three months after admitting to sending an explosive substance with intent to burn and making threats to kill. The judge said the extended sentence means Snow will be on licence five years after he is released. 


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