A 20-year-old man has been convicted of preparing an act of terrorism after he planned to carry out a machete attack on a gay pride event in Cumbria. Ethan Stables showed no reaction as the verdicts were returned at Leeds crown court on Monday morning and he was remanded in custody before sentencing later in the day.
Officers had received a tip-off from a member of a far-right Facebook group where Stables posted a message saying he was “going to war” and that he planned to “slaughter every single one of the gay bastards”. After he was arrested, police found Stables had made internet searches for “how to make chemical poison”, “what is prison like for a murderer”, “I want to go on a killing spree” and “do you get haircuts in prison”.
The jury was shown a video of him burning a rainbow flag and posing next to a swastika hanging on his bedroom wall. He swapped messages with fellow extremists, blaming the fact that he was jobless on “faggots, niggers, spastics” and the Equalities Act.
Last week we reported here that Stables shocked the jury at Leeds Crown Court when he told them that he is actually bisexual and was ‘utterly ashamed’ of what he had done.
“What is the true price of fame? The price of fame is what you risk when you have the platform. As an athlete, a role model for society, people listen to you. As an athlete, when you make a statement, that statement is heard, no matter what that statement is. Speak up for LBGTQ rights, for human rights, for empathy? The world will pay attention, and take notice. Stay silent, keep your head down, count the money and endorsements? The world will pay attention, and take notice. Either way, you’re the one who has to live with what you did or didn’t do. I hope that athletes speak out at Sochi on LBGTQ issues, even knowing the possible risks that await them.
“I know that it could cost them their livelihoods, their careers, everything they’ve worked towards. I know that it can lead to recriminations, harsh words from a public who just wants their entertainment, no matter how much blood it’s packaged in. I know that it’s one of the hardest steps a person can take, and that there is no guarantee of a reward at the end, other than knowing you did the right thing at the right time with nothing to show for it but angry tweets and emails tempered by the messages of support and affection from those in whose lives you made a difference, those currently being abused by the oppressive and ignorant.”
In the opening of the piece, Kluwe never for a loss of words slammed Sochi’s corporate sponsors suggesting certain replacement marketing slogans: “Today’s refreshing anti-gay beating brought to you by Coca-Cola!”