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  1. ITV Report

Jail for man who plotted London mosque explosion after fixating on Manchester Arena attack victim

Steven Bishop has been jailed four four-years at Kingston Crown Court. Credit: Met Police/PA

A man who planned to bomb London mosque after becoming fixated on the youngest victim of the Manchester Arena attack has been jailed for four years.

Steven Bishop, 41, of south London, stockpiled fireworks and carried out online searches of how to build explosives.

His room in sheltered accommodation was raided by counter-terror police in October last year after he showed his key worker photographs of objects he said he was collecting to build a bomb.

On his phone, he repeatedly searched for memorials to Saffie-Rose Roussos, the youngest victim of the Manchester Arena attack in May 22, where 23 people were killed at an Ariana Grande concert.

Bishop was so obsessed with Saffie-Rose that he even tried to find her resting place using the "Find a Grave” website.

He also looked up the Manchester, London Bridge and Paris terror attacks using his phone.

Police released these photographs of a suitcase Bishop owned. Credit: PA

Last October, Bishop donated £40 to the Manchester Emergency Fund set up on the website Just Giving with the comment: “So sad that this happened to little kids.”

A second donation for the same amount made the same day was accompanied by the comment: “I’m in love with my buitiful [sic] Saffie god bless you xx.”

He commented “god bless little Saffie” on a Facebook video called “Standing for Britain” which featured some of the victims of the Manchester attack, adding: “Don’t worry something bad is going to happen soon mark my words.”

He had researched explosive detonators, made a set of handwritten notes and searched online for the Morden mosque, detectives discovered.

Bishop denied preparation of an act of terrorism but admitted an alternative charge of possession of an explosive substance with intent to endanger life or cause damage to property on the first day of his trial at Kingston Crown Court.

He previously admitted a charge of possession of information likely to be useful to a person preparing an act of terrorism.

Jailing him for four years on Wednesday, Judge Peter Lodder QC said: “The detonation of one or more of these fireworks at Morden mosque may have risked the lives of those nearby.”

Bishop was hoarding fireworks, which he planned to use in an attack. Credit: PA

He added: “The incendiary effect of one or more of these fireworks could have caused significant damage to the building and nearby infrastructure.”

Bishop was handed four years for possession of explosives, two years concurrent for possession of terrorist documents, plus one day concurrent for breach of a conditional discharge.

The court heard that when detectives searched his room in sheltered accommodation they found some fireworks that had been tampered with, along with fuses, a remote control and igniter.

Inside the suitcase, police found components for making incendiary devices. Credit: PA

Although available to the public, the fireworks were classed as “commercial” because they were of a size used in professional pyrotechnic displays.

A firing device was also delivered to his address two days after his arrest.

Following the search he told officers he was “really upset” about the Manchester attack, adding: “All I was saying is I think it would be justice if someone did to them what they do to us.”

As he was driven to the police station, he repeatedly asked officers about the Manchester attack.

He told them: “I’ll tell the police everything. I hear voices. I heard the voice of a victim of the Manchester Arena bombing who told me to do."