Tristan Morgan, a far-right extremist, was remanded by the court to a secure hospital for an indefinite stay after setting fire to a shul in n Exeter, England, last year. ITV News reported that at the time, he was seen on camera pouring liquid from his green gasoline can through the window and throwing a piece of lit paper through the window. As he walked away laughing, fire spewed out of the historic building and he was engulfed in a ball of flames.
Eyewitnesses reported that he drove off in a Mercedes Vito van. Closed circuit TV footage identified his van, as well as the defendant using an axe to break a window of the shul.
When firefighters arrived, a “severe” fire was burning in the boiler room, which they said could have exploded.
When Police arrived at his home in Alexander Terrace in Exeter, he opened the door to officers and exclaimed, “That didn’t take long”.
As he was put into the police van, Morgan said, “Please tell me that synagogue is burning to the ground; if not, it’s poor preparation.”
He admitted to the charge of arson with intent to endanger life, as well as two charges under the Terrorism Act.
The Exeter Synagogue, built in 1763, is the third oldest in Britain and remains a focal point for the Jewish community in the South West.
The cost of repairing the fire damage was said to total more than £23,000.