Neo-Nazi extremist Zack Davies is given a life sentence for a racially motivated “revenge attack” following the murder of Fusilier Lee Rigby.
Davies was found guilty of attempted murder at a court in North Wales in June after he tried to decapitate a man because he was Asian.
The 26-year-old went to his local Tesco on 14 January, where he used a claw hammer and machete to attack Dr Sarandev Bhambra, shouting: “This is for Lee Rigby.”
Today, he was told he must serve at least 14 years in prison before he would be considered for parole.
During the June trial, Mold Crown Court heard how Dr Bhambra was walking down the aisle of the Tesco store when he felt a “huge blow” to the back of his head. Dr Bhambram, a 25-year-old dentist from Leeds, was left with two deep cuts to his scalp and another to his back.
Zack Davies posted an image of himself in a balaclava with a large knife and the flag of the far-right group National Action hours before he carried out his violent racist attack.
He was not well known to far-right monitoring groups, though National Action and the violent activists they associate with regularly wear masks on protests to hide their identities. He had built up relationships online with members of the group, sharing childish and offensive far-right images.
A YouTube channel seen by Channel 4 News that was owned by Davies is filled with neo-Nazi videos. In one clip, he poses with a straight-armed salute similar to Anders Breivik’s infamous gesture.
After the collapse of the BNP and EDL, some of the most extreme leftovers of both groups joined together under the umbrella of National Action. Far-right extremism monitoring groups have repeatedly warned that as the far right splinters it is becoming more volatile.
This new group is overtly aligned to Nazism, their members have outlined an ideology calling for “White Jihad” and promote a lone wolf approach to activism. National Action regularly posts videos online showing themselves training to fight, spraying anti-Semitic graffiti and carrying out flash mob actions.
Davies repeatedly hacked at his victim with a 30cm (12in) machete, leaving him with life-changing injuries. It was only when former soldier Peter Fuller’s intervention to stop the violence that saved Dr Bhambra’s life.
Judge Rhys Rowlands said it was a “planned and racially motivated attack”, and praised Mr Fuller for his “remarkable bravery”.
Davies said he chose his victim because he “looked Asian”. He told police: “It was irrelevant what religion he was. It was his appearance just the way he looked. It did not matter to me what religion he was, it was his racial appearance.”
White supremacist material, including banners, swastika badges and Combat 18 stickers, were found when police searched his home earlier this year.
After the trial concluded, Dr Bhambra’s brother, Dr Tarlochan Singh Bhambra, said his family had “no doubt” that, had the “racial disposition” of the case been reversed, it would have been reported as an “act of terror”.
Speaking outside the court for the first time, Dr Bhambra said Davies was a “coward” and the “barbaric incident” was “traumatic and stressful”.
He said: “He attacked me from behind and tried to behead me. By the grace of God I remained conscious and was able to defend myself.”
“It is abhorrent that he has claimed that he tried to kill me in Lee Rigby’s honour.”