White Supremacist Convicted Of Planning Machete Attack On Gay Club, Faces Life In Prison

During his trial, Ethan Stables claimed he was bisexual.

A British man convicted of planning a terror attack on a gay bar now faces life in prison.

Ethan Stables, 20, shared his scheme to attack the New Empire pub in Cumbria last June with members of a white supremacist Facebook group.

Cumbria Constabulary

“There’s a Pride night. I’m going to walk in with a fucking machete and slaughter every single one of them,” he wrote, adding, “I don’t want to live in a gay world… I don’t care if I die. I’m fighting for what I believe in and that is the future of my country, my folk and my race.”

A teenage member who had tried to talk him out of it alerted authorities, who arrested Stables as he was walking to the bar. They later found a machete, knives, an air rifle and materials to make a bomb in his home, as well as a large Nazi flag. A search of Stables’ Internet history indicated he had searched for “how to make chemical poison,” “How to be declared criminally insane,” “I want to go on a killing spree” and “Do you get haircuts in prison?”.

Police also uncovered a YouTube video of Stables setting a rainbow flag on fire.

As he lights the flag, Stables can be heard saying, “Look at it, that rainbow, so much nicer when it’s on fire. It’s just like gay people. Much nicer when they’re on fire.” (He also talks about joining the ultra-right wing Democratic Unionist Party so he can “execute gay people.”)

During the trial, Stables’ mother, Elaine Asbury, testified she had thrown her son out of the house at age 17 because he threatened to decapitate her and burn the house down. Asbury claimed he had been radicalized while visiting a girlfriend in Germany.

Prosecutor Jonathan Sandiford described Stables as a “white supremacist and Nazi [with] a deep-seated hatred of black, Jewish, Muslim, and especially gay people.”

But Stables claimed he was bisexual and had at least one same-sex encounter.

He told the jury the attack was just something he concocted to impress his right-wing friends. “I just wish I could turn the clock back. I’m sorry.”

Stables was convicted of preparing an act of terrorism, making threats to kill and possessing explosives. He returns to court for sentencing on Wednesday.

Dan Avery is a writer-editor who focuses on culture, breaking news and LGBT rights. His work has appeared in Newsweek, The New York Times, Time Out New York, The Advocate and elsewhere.