White Supremacist Engulfed In Flames After Trying To Set Fire To Synagogue

by : Emily Brown on : 06 Jul 2019 13:26
Man engulfed in flames after setting fire to synagogueDCPolice/YouTube

A white supremacist’s plan to set fire to a synagogue literally blew up in his face as the flames flew back out of the window and engulfed him. 

Tristan Morgan appeared at the Central Criminal Court on Friday (July 5) where he pleaded guilty to arson and two charges under the Terrorism Act in relation to the fire at Exeter Synagogue on July 21, 2018.


CCTV footage showed the 52-year-old pouring petrol on the religious building before setting it alight, however the flames blazed out of the window right into Morgan’s face, causing his hat to fly off.

Take a look here:


According to Devon and Cornwall Police, Morgan was first charged in connection with the fire on the day of the incident,  a date which coincided with a Jewish fast day commemorating disasters, including the Holocaust.


He was then further charged with collecting information and encouraging terrorism following a joint investigation by local officers and Counter Terrorism Policing South West working with the Special Crime and Counter Terrorism Division of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

In court, the judge heard the far-right extremist laughed after he set fire to the historic synagogue, which is the third oldest in Britain.

Alistair Richardson, who was prosecuting, said Morgan made songs ‘exhorting others to violence’ against the Jewish community, the Mirror report.


Superintendent Matt Lawler, the Local Policing Commander for Exeter, East & Mid Devon said:

Morgan is clearly very unwell and following multiple detailed medical assessments it is clear that a hospital order is appropriate. He will be subject of further assessments and close monitoring for many years to come.

Following consultation with the Synagogue, some of the CCTV images of the attack have been released.

White supremacist engulfed in flames as he sets fire to synagogueDCPolice/YouTube

He continued:


The footage, which was played in open court, shows the level of planning, determination and intent by Morgan, whom the wider evidence clearly showed held abhorrent extreme right-wing, anti-Semitic, and white supremacist views. It is only by sheer chance that the Synagogue was empty and indeed that Morgan himself sustained only minor burns.

When this occurred last year, the public, civic leaders and faith groups all came together to send a positive message of tolerance and support which has been appreciated by the Jewish community not only in Exeter, but around the world. A similar statement has again been issued today.

I would like to thank our partners and local residents who have given such tremendous support to the Synagogue, and of course to the investigators, local staff, the CPS, and wider legal team who have worked so diligently on this case.

Mr Richard Halsey, President of the Synagogue, thanked the local police for their investigation and support.

He added:


In particular we wish to highlight how the community of Exeter has come together to demonstrate the genuine positivity in our city. We live in a wonderful place that has demonstrated tolerance and support for each other at times of need, and the whole Jewish community sincerely appreciates the support we have had from all faiths here in Exeter.

In October we were thankfully able to return our services to the Synagogue, and in April this year we celebrated a wonderful re-dedication service.

We are now back in our home, and it is as special as it has always been.

Morgan was given an indefinite hospital order; only the courts can consider his potential release. He was also given a 10 year terrorist notification order, meaning he will be subject of long-term monitoring by the police and partners.

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Emily Brown

Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.

Topics: News, Crime, white supremacy


Devon and Cornwall Police and 2 others
  1. Devon and Cornwall Police

    Man sentenced for Exeter Synagogue arson and terrorism offences.

  2. The Mirror

    Moment white supremacist is engulfed in flames after pouring petrol on synagogue

  3. DCPolice/YouTube