Brighton neo-Nazi who planned synagogue suicide bombing is jailed

<span>Mason Reynolds had detailed diagrams of the synagogue in Hove, East Sussex, on his phone.</span><span>Photograph: ROCU/PA</span>
Mason Reynolds had detailed diagrams of the synagogue in Hove, East Sussex, on his phone.Photograph: ROCU/PA

A teenager with neo-Nazi views who made plans to carry out a suicide bombing at a synagogue because he wanted “to make Jews afraid again” has been jailed for eight years.

Mason Reynolds had carried out a “very significant amount of planning” for a terrorist attack at the synagogue in Hove, East Sussex, the sentencing judge said.

Reynolds, 19, who lived with his parents in Brighton as he hatched the plan, admitted holding neo-Nazi beliefs but claimed he didn’t really plan to carry out the bombing.

Sentencing him on Friday, Mrs Justice May said Reynolds had a “startlingly extensive and very concerning collection” of terrorism documents and she considered him dangerous.

She told him he had “entrenched and focused interest in far-right ideology and politics”, adding: “One only has to look at the volume and extremity in views expressed in material shown to the court to understand the risk you pose.”

Describing a note found in which he detailed how he would carry out the bombing, she said: “There is a very significant amount of planning a terrorism attack … There is a serious risk of harm.”

During a trial at Winchester crown court, the jury was told about detailed diagrams of the synagogue on his phone. He had written down times when the synagogue was busiest and marked an entrance, exit and the position of a security camera.

The court heard he also shared extreme rightwing videos and possessed manuals on bomb building and how to 3D-print firearms.

He was the administrator of a Telegram channel that shared far-right, antisemitic and racist views. He posted that he wanted to “make Jews afraid again”.

Reynolds also possessed recorded live-streamed videos of mass-murder terrorist attacks including those carried out by Brenton Tarrant in Christchurch, New Zealand, and Anders Breivik in Norway.

Reynolds was arrested in June 2023 and his phone and laptop were seized.

Amy Packham, Reynold’s barrister, said he was an immature young man and argued: “The view of Mason Reynolds and his family is that he never would have taken this action into real life.”

Reynolds’ family gasped in the public gallery as he was sentenced.

In his police interview, Reynolds accepted writing the note but said he did it to “shut his friends up” as they were always having a go at him for being “all talk and no action”.

Nick Price, the head of the Crown Prosecution Service counter-terrorism and special crime division, said: “Mason Reynolds sought to spread hate and encourage acts of terrorism. He not only held neo-Nazi beliefs but wanted to act on them to cause pain and suffering.”

Reynolds was found guilty by a jury of possession of an article connected with the preparation of an act of terrorism against the synagogue.

He pleaded guilty to five counts of possessing material likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism, as well as five offences of sharing terrorist publications.

Reynolds showed no emotion as he was given an extended sentence made up of eight years in custody with a five-year period on licence.