13 June 2008

Anthrax hoax postman jailed

A neo-Nazi postman who targeted the Attorney General in an Anthrax hoax has been jailed for four years.

Brazilian-born loner Jefferson Azevedo, 45, posted packages containing caustic soda and letters filled with "racist and depraved" threats to his victims. Azevedo's targets included Government figures and an elderly man whose family was wiped out in the Holocaust.

One person was slightly burnt by the chemicals stuffed into parcels, another suffered a skin rash, and many people were left "extremely frightened". London's Southwark Crown Court heard how Azevedo also caused traffic chaos with a hoax bomb on a bridge.

He targeted more than 150 organisations and individuals, singled out because of their support for foreign nationals in Britain or opposition to the far right British National Party.

Schools, mosques, churches, restaurants, the Royal Navy's dockyard at Portsmouth and the Voluntary Overseas Organisation were all sent hate mail.

In what the judge called "sheer nastiness", 79-year-old Julius Klein, whose family was murdered by the Nazis, was sent a letter with a swastika.

Alex Agbamu, prosecuting, said Azevedo was obsessed with immigration.

"He wanted to bring what he said was the problem to the wider British public. He said he had the idea from the US when anthrax had been sent through the post to various people in that country."

Father-of-one Azevedo, of Langley Road, Portsmouth, pleaded guilty to 19 charges from February 2003 to March last year, and asked for a further 140 to be considered. One charge related to February 7 last year when he planted an "imitation explosive device" on a footbridge over the A27 in Havant, Hampshire.

Eight other counts detailed "hoaxes involving noxious substances or things" including white powder that was sent to the Attorney General and to St Albans primary school in Havant. The other nine counts, under the Malicious Communications Act, concerned "conveying threatening messages".


No comments: