UK & World News
Pavlo Lapshyn: Mosque Bomber Jailed For Life
A white supremacist who murdered a grandfather and bombed three mosques in the Midlands has been jailed for life.
Pavlo Lapshyn, a student from Ukraine, was told he would spend at least 40 years behind bars despite his guilty plea, after a judge described his crimes as "abhorrent".
The family of 82-year-old Mohammed Saleem, who was stabbed to death by Lapshyn in Small Heath, Birmingham, said the sentence could "never be enough", adding: "He took away the life of a beloved person."
Lapshyn, 25, began his racist campaign just five days after arriving in the UK in April this year.
After killing Mr Saleem, he then went on to launch three attacks on mosques in the Black Country, bringing terror to Muslim communities.
During their investigation, police found dozens of videos and hundreds of images of chemicals, firearms and bomb parts inside his office.
One clip showed him practising for the attacks by blowing up a tree in a forest in Ukraine.
Passing sentence at the Old Bailey, judge Mr Justice Sweeney told Lapshyn he had been motivated by "religious and racial hatred".
"You were clearly planning to plant and detonate more devices in the hope that you would ignite racial conflict and cause Muslims to leave the area where you were living," he said.
"Such views, hatred and motivation are abhorrent to all right thinking people and have no place whatsoever in our multi-faith and multi-cultural society."
Lapshyn had won a work placement contest and was employed at a software firm in Birmingham, but he used the months after his arrival to orchestrate a hate campaign.
He put together a home-made bomb that he hid in a child's lunchbox and left outside Walsall's Aisha mosque on June 21.
Seven days later he detonated a device close to Wolverhampton Central Mosque.
On July 12 he used a deadly nail bomb next to the Kanzul Iman Masjid mosque in Tipton, near Wolverhampton.
Police said he failed in his attempt to injure worshippers as they arrived for prayers because the service had been put back by an hour.
Assistant Chief Constable Marcus Beale, head of counter-terrorism for the West Midlands, said: "Lapshyn will be spending a very long time in prison and rightly so.
"He clearly would have continued with his evil bombing campaign had he not been caught."
Lapshyn was caught after he was recognised by a member of the public from CCTV pictures that were distributed in the media.
When he was interviewed by police, Lapshyn said he was acting alone and was not part of any wider group.
During the sentencing, which was delayed after a suspicious package was discovered in the courtroom, Lapshyn showed no emotion, even while the judge read out a harrowing victim impact statement from Mr Saleem's family.
Speaking outside court, the pensioner's son Shaid said: "The sentence Lapshyn received reflects the seriousness of his crimes of terror.
"His crimes were religiously and racially motivated and we hope this case serves as a deterrent to other people plotting such horrific acts of violence for the purpose of creating fear in our communities."