Pipe bomb Nazi fanatic could be free from jail within months
A terrorist who made a pipe bomb in his Nazi memorabilia-filled bedroom could walk free from jail within months despite his bid to be released early being rejected.
The Parole Board refused to let Jack Coulson leave prison before the end of his sentence as it was not convinced there was any “real reduction in risk” since he was first jailed.
But, because of the type of sentence he is serving, Coulson is still expected to be freed later this year when he has served his full time behind bars.
In 2018 he was sentenced to four years and eight months in a young offenders’ institution for having terror handbook The Big Book Of Mischief, after previously being convicted for making the explosive.
Leeds Crown Court heard how the 19-year-old downloaded the 60-page manual – which describes how to make and detonate explosives – on his phone after boasting about wanting to kill a female MP.
References to banned right-wing group National Action and internet searches for Timothy McVeigh, the American terrorist who carried out the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing which led to the deaths of 168 people, were also discovered on his phone.
During a police interview Coulson had described Adolf Hitler as his “leader”, the court heard.
Now 22, Coulson first became eligible to be considered for release in April last year and “indicated that he hoped to be released” when he came before the Parole Board for the first time.
Although this request was rejected, because he is serving a determinate sentence, he is still due to be freed when his term ends in October this year.
A document detailing the Parole Board’s decision said the risk factors at the time of his offending included his “interest in explosives and his right-wing, racist and pro-violence beliefs”.
Work to address his offending while in custody was considered to have been of “limited benefit” and an “intervention” to tackle the causes of extremist behaviour was “not completed due to concerns about Mr Coulson’s engagement”.
None of the officials or experts who gave evidence to the Parole Board supported his release and the panel “was not persuaded that there had been any real reduction in risk since Mr Coulson’s sentence started”.
The Parole Board decided a plan to restrict Coulson’s movements and who he contacts, should he be released, “was not robust enough” at this stage “because he would be unlikely to comply with it”.
The papers said: “After considering the circumstances of his offending, the progress made while in custody and the evidence presented at the hearing, the panel was not satisfied that Mr Coulson was suitable for release.”
If he was not freed early by the panel, he would “otherwise be released at the end of his sentence in October 2022, unless found suitable for a return to the community before that date as the result of a future parole review”, the board added.
Although he will not be supervised by probation when he is released, he will be subject to notification requirements under the Counter-Terrorism Act, which means he will have to provide police with certain information, such as his address or passport number, for a minimum of 10 years, so officers and other authorities can monitor him and any risk he may pose.
Coulson was not named in reports of his pipe-bomb trial in 2017 after the court banned his identification because he was 17 at the time.
During that case he was sentenced to a three-year youth rehabilitation order, which was revoked after his latest offence. The judge in that case said Coulson’s “perverted” views led to him proclaiming Thomas Mair, the man who murdered Labour MP Jo Cox, to be a hero.
The jury heard how Coulson’s bedroom was filled with Nazi symbols, including flags bearing the swastika and the symbol of the Waffen SS.
While attending preventative intervention programmes, Coulson dressed in camouflage and claimed “all Jews should be exterminated”, prosecutors said.
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