A terrorist inspired by the Christchurch mosque attacks has been jailed for more than 18 years for stabbing a teenager in a bid to “murder a Muslim”.
Vincent Fuller, 50, lunged at 19-year-old Dimitar Mihaylov’s neck with a 12in kitchen knife the day after the New Zealand shootings, which left 51 people dead.
The victim, a British roofer with Bulgarian heritage, suffered defence wounds to his hand when he was attacked through his car window in a Tesco car park in Stanwell, west London.
Earlier on the night of March 16, Fuller was heard shouting: “All Muslims should die. White supremacists rule. I’m going to murder a Muslim.”
He also praised the actions of Brenton Tarrant, the Australian man accused of carrying out the Christchurch terror attacks, after watching a livestreamed video of the atrocity.
“I agree with what that man did in New Zealand as we will not be brainwashed,” he wrote on Facebook.
Fuller pleaded guilty to attempted murder over the attack on Mr Mihaylov, but claimed he had no historic links to a terrorist cause and his actions stemmed from family problems.
But Judge Peter Lodder QC ruled it was a terrorist act motivated by the cause of white supremacy and personal 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, with an additional five-year extended sentence.
The judge told him: “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.”
Before the attack on Mr Mihaylov, Fuller left his upstairs maisonette armed with a Chelsea Football Club-branded baseball bat, which he used to bang on the door of his neighbour, Paramjit Bansal, who is of Indian heritage.
Video footage from a camera in her doorbell, which was played in court, shows Fuller, hooded and wearing a cap, swinging the weapon twice shouting: “Come out you black c***.”
Fuller was also caught on CCTV as he wandered up and down Town Lane swinging his bat at those inside passing cars, hitting one so hard he broke his weapon.
The judge said Mr Mihaylov was targeted as he sat in his BMW because he has lightly tanned skin and was next to a friend who had a long beard and was wearing fashionable headgear.
Fuller calmly said, “You’re going to die” in an “evil way”, before plunging the blade into the victim’s left hand, which he raised to defend himself, the court heard.
The knife also clipped his neck before he was able to drive away, but Mr Mihaylov missed three months of work because of his injuries.
He 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 Tasered as he was arrested by armed police before he called officers “immigrant scum” and “race traitor”.
Fuller, who has a British bulldog tattoo, tested positive for cannabis and alcohol and told police he had downed a large bottle of cider and three cans of strong Special Brew lager.
In interviews, he branded his Facebook post about the Christchurch massacre “disgusting” and claimed “I’m not racist”, telling officers he had friends from Kenya and Jamaica.
His barrister Benjamin Waidhofer said in mitigation: “Mr Fuller wishes to express his remorse through me.”
Fuller, of Viola Avenue, Stanwell, has 24 previous convictions for 59 offences, including a six-year prison sentence in 1998 for robbery after he stole handbags from elderly women.
Speaking outside court, Superintendent Andy Rundle, from Surrey Police, said: “Fuller had some limited prior involvement with the police. It’s clear that he has become radicalised and developed an extreme right-wing view.
“Following the horrendous events in New Zealand he took it upon himself to target sections of the Stanwell community, motivated by hate and clearly intent on causing serious harm.”
Detective Chief Superintendent Kath Barnes, head of counter-terrorism at Policing South East (CTPSE), said: “Fuller is clearly an incredibly angry and dangerous individual, who went out of his way looking for someone of non-white appearance to attack.
“It is fortunate that the victim was able to defend himself despite being confined to his car as otherwise this would undoubtedly have been a murder investigation.
“Given the context of his actions, notably in the aftermath of the horrendous events in New Zealand, the decision was taken to declare this a terrorist incident.”