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”.
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.