By Ben Kerrigan-
A conspiracy theorist who plotted a terror attack on phone, TV and radio masts as part of plan to topple the UK government has been sentenced to six and a half years in prison.
Oliver Lewin, 38, was found guilty in December of carrying out reconnaissance of potential targets, buying equipment and tools, digging hideouts and seeking to recruit others between 24 July and 25 August 2021.
Passing sentence at Birmingham crown court on Friday, the judge, Paul Farrer, said Lewin was “socially isolated, depressed, and lacking in self-worth” at the time of his offending.
“Your objective was to influence the government, although in reality the prospects of you successfully doing so were remote in the extreme,” he said.
Nick Price, of the Crown Prosecution Service, said Lewin’s beliefs were “extremely dangerous” and he had “planned to commit a terror attack on our nation’s infrastructure by amassing a huge amount of equipment and undertaking reconnaissance”..
Oliver Lewin, 38, from Coalville planned to commit the attacks over a number of months, and tried to recruit others to help out, Birmingham Crown Court heard.
He used social media to identify like-minded people, using the Telegram platform to create a national network to attempt to carry out the attacks.
His motive appears to have been a mistrust of authority.
The 38-year-old, of Ferrers Road, Coalville, Leicestershire, was convicted last month of a single charge of preparing terrorist acts, despite claiming his comments to undercover security operatives were part of a fantasy.
Passing sentence at Birmingham Crown Court on Friday 20 Jauary, Judge Paul Farrer said: “You believed in the existence of a Covid conspiracy controlled by Jews. In the course of your messages, you expressed hostility towards Jewish people.
“You also sought to recruit four of your friends to assist you in circumstances where they were ignorant of your terrorist agenda and some of them were vulnerable.”
Lewin, who has no previous convictions and has already spent 507 days on remand, was told he will have to serve two-thirds of his sentence before parole can be considered.
“You are undoubtedly a complicated character with significant autistic traits. At the time of the indictment, you were socially isolated, depressed and lacking in self-worth. These features led you into telling many lies about the extent of your terrorist activities”, Judge Farrer said.
He added: “At the time of the indictment, you were socially isolated, depressed and lacking in self-worth. These features led you into telling many lies about the extent of your terrorist activities.
“Your objective was to influence the Government, although in reality the prospects of you successfully doing so were remote in the extreme.
The trial heard that Lewin planned to target masts and transport infrastructure, such as the M1 in the Midlands and a transmitting station in Sutton Coldfield, where he planned to “firebomb” sheds.
He had been taken in by a number of conspiracy theories and believed the coronavirus pandemic was “triggering what he termed the emergence of a Chinese communist system”, and was also suspicious of the vaccination programme, the prosecutor, Annabel Darlow KC, said.
He also believed the UK government was “dominated by a Jewish elite who took orders from Israel”, she told the court.
Lewin, from Coalville in Leicestershire, had a background working as an audiovisual engineer, which gave him the specialist knowledge of how to target communications infrastructure such as masts, which he wanted to destabilise in “widespread, coordinated attacks”.
He was intercepted by police when he issued a “call to arms” on a Telegram channel that had been infiltrated by undercover officers.