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Surrey terrorist who wanted to 'murder a Muslim' jailed for Tesco knife attack

Published by the Eagle Radio News Team at 4:07pm 10th September 2019. (Updated at 11:19am 11th September 2019)

A terrorist who knifed a man in a Tesco car park because he wanted to "murder a Muslim" has been jailed for more than 18 years.

Vincent Fuller, 50, stabbed Dimitar Mihaylov, 19, in Stanwell, the day after the Christchurch mosque shooting in New Zealand.

Fuller admitted trying to kill the teenager, who suffered defence wounds to his hand when he was attacked through his car window in the supermarket car park in west London.

On 16 March, at about 11pm, Fuller approached Mr Mihaylov while he was in his car in the supermarket car park, and stabbed him through an open window.

Fuller left the scene but was arrested by armed officers.

Earlier on the night he was heard shouting: "All Muslims should die. White supremacists rule. I'm going to murder a Muslim."

He also praised the actions of Brendan Tarrant, the Australian man accused of carrying out the attacks in Christchurch, and had watched a livestreamed video of the attack.

He posted on Facebook: "I agree with what that man did in New Zealand as we will not be brainwashed."

Judge Peter Lodder ruled it was a terrorist act, motivated by the cause of white supremacy and anti-Muslim sentiments.

Fuller also admitted carrying a weapon, affray, and racially aggravated harassment, alarm or distress at an earlier hearing and was jailed for 18 years and nine months at Kingston Crown Court.

He was given an additional five-year extended sentence.

Though he pleaded guilty, he claimed he had no historic links to a terrorist cause, and said his actions stemmed from family problems.

Fuller attacked Mr Mihaylov, a British roofer with Bulgarian heritage, the day after 51 people were killed in the New Zealand shootings, which deeply shook the nation.

Surrey Police said the teenager was treated in hospital for wounds to his hand and neck.

Judge Lodder said: "In a violent rage you roamed the streets of Stanwell, initially with a baseball bat, then with a knife, looking for a target.

"When you found Dimitar Mihaylov, twice you shouted, 'You're going to die', and at least twice you plunged a large kitchen knife towards his neck. It was only by chance he was not killed.

"As you accept by your guilty plea, this was an act of attempted murder and, as I have found, this was a terrorist act."

He added: "It was your stated intention to kill a Muslim, which you attempted to do in that stabbing.

"I find that it was your purpose to strike fear into the heart of people you described as non-English, in particular Muslims."

Fuller had left his maisonette in Stanwell armed with a Chelsea FC baseball bat which he used to bang on the door of his neighbour Paramjit Bansal, who is of Indian heritage.

Vincent Fuller

CCTV footage played in court showed Fuller in a hoodie and cap swinging the bat and shouting: "Come out you black c***."

He was also caught on CCTV walking up and down Town Lane swinging his bat at those inside passing cars, hitting one so hard he broke the bat.

The judge said Mr Mihaylov was targeted while sitting in his BMW because he has lightly tanned skin and was sitting next to a friend who had a long beard and was wearing headgear.

Fuller calmly said "you're going to die" in an "evil way" before plunging the 12in kitchen knife into the victim's hand as he tried to defend himself.

The knife clipped his neck before he could drive away, and he missed three months of work due to injury.

Mr Mihaylov said in a victim impact statement: "I realise how lucky I am to have made it considering how many little details could have gone wrong and ended up with a knife in my neck, which is why I now have a tattoo saying, 'second chance', on my neck."

Fuller was arrested by armed police and Tasered, before he called the officers "immigrant scum" and labelled one a "race traitor".

The 50-year-old tested positive for cannabis and alcohol and told police he'd downed a large bottle of cider and three cans of Special Brew.

In interviews, he branded his Facebook post about the New Zealand massacre "disgusting" and claimed "I'm no racist" citing, friends from Kenya and Jamaica.

His lawyer Benjamin Waidhofer said in mitigation: "Mr Fuller wishes to express his remorse through me."

Fuller had 24 previous convictions for 59 offences, including a six-year prison sentence in 1998 after he stole handbags from elderly women.

Detective Chief Superintendent Kath Barnes, Head of Counter Terrorism Policing South East (CTPSE), called Fuller "dangerous" and "incredibly angry" and said he had gone out of his way to find someone of non-white appearance to attack.

Superintendent Andy Rundle, from Surrey Police said the sentence would be a "tremendous relief" for the victim and his family, and said Fuller had "become radicalised and developed an extreme right-wing view".

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