Dover firebomb terror suspect died of asphyxiation, inquest hears

Andrew Leak. Credit: ITV Meridian

The Dover firebomb terror suspect died of asphyxiation, an inquest has heard.

Andrew Leak, 66, from High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire, threw two to three homemade incendiary devices at the immigration processing centre at Western Jet Foil in Dover, Kent on October 30.

Leak was found dead eight minutes after the attack in the car park of a nearby BP petrol station.

The inquest into Leak’s death was opened on Tuesday morning at County Hall in Maidstone by coroner Bina Patel.

She confirmed Kent Police was called to Western Jet Foil at 11.22am on October 30 and Leak was found deceased at the petrol station on Limekiln Road at 11.30am. Paramedics confirmed his death at 11.48am.

Counter-terrorism police have taken over the investigation into the firebombing of an immigration processing centre in Dover.

Leak, who was single and unemployed, was found in the driver’s seat of his white Seat car.

The inquest was adjourned until the provisional date of January 27 2023.

After initially being discounted as a terrorist incident by Kent Police and the Home Office, the investigation was taken over by counter-terrorism police last Tuesday and was officially designated a terror attack on Saturday.

Facebook posts on a now-deleted account under the name of an Andy Leak from High Wycombe contain anti-Muslim sentiments and complaints about people claiming benefits if they do not speak English.

One, shared on August 9, said: “The next time the job centre sanctions your money for not looking for enough work ask them about the thousands of people getting benefits cannot speak English and can not write English, how are they looking for work?

“Unemployment benefits clearly state you cannot claim benefits if not looking for work, all of these people should be excluded from benefits.

“You can clearly not look for work if you cannot read English or speak English, they are breaking the law, time to stand up.”

On Saturday, Tim Jacques, senior national co-ordinator for Counter Terrorism Policing, said: “This was clearly a very worrying incident and although nobody was seriously hurt, two people did sustain minor injuries.

“Increasingly in counter-terrorism casework, across all ideologies, we are seeing individuals who have mental health concerns and a hateful mind-set.

“Assessing when this crosses the terrorism threshold is a complex process and needs to be carefully considered on a case-by-case basis. These decisions need to be determined by the facts, as far as they can be established at any given time.

“After considering the evidence collected so far in this case, whilst there are strong indications that mental health was likely a factor, I am satisfied that the suspect’s actions were primarily driven by an extremist ideology. This meets the threshold for a terrorist incident.”