Man Sentenced For Synagogue Arson And Terrorism Offences

Tristan Morgan given an indefinite hospital order.

A man has been given an indefinite hospital order after pleading guilty to an arson and two charges under the Terrorism Act following a hearing at the Central Criminal Court (Old Bailey) in London today (Friday 5 July). 

Exeter man Tristan Morgan, aged 52, of no fixed abode, was first charged in connection with a fire at Exeter Synagogue on Saturday 21 July 2018.  

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), Morgan was further charged with collecting information and encouraging terrorism.

Morgan was given an indefinite hospital order and only the courts can consider his potential release. 

Morgan was also given a ten year terrorist notification order which means that he will be subject of long-term monitoring by the police and partners.

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. 


“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.”

President of the Synagogue, Mr Richard Halsey said: “We sincerely thank the local police for their brilliant response and for their thorough investigation and support since the traumatic events of last year. 

“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.”