TWO friends obsessed with Norwegian mass murderer Anders Breivik branded themselves with hot irons while embarking on a far-right hate campaign in Torbay, a court was told.
John Roddy, 20, and Tobias Ruth, 19, were arrested under terrorism legislation earlier this year after material which could be used to make a bomb was found in the Lymington Road area.
After an investigation, it turned out the pair were not terrorists but social misfits responsible for a spate of graffiti attacks on public buildings, including Brixham police station and the Torbay Islamic Centre.
But the pair's activities also had a more sinister side.
Letters were sent to Islamic centres in Brighton and Plymouth telling worshippers to leave the country.
And the pair styled themselves as Knights Templar in homage to Breivik, amateurishly branding themselves and spraying buildings with a cross and the letters 'KT'.
At Exeter Crown Court, Ruth, of Hunsdon Road, Torquay, was sent to a young offenders' institution for two years and nine months.
He admitted conspiracy to cause criminal damage and to sending malicious communications.
He also breached his bail by being found in possession of a knuckle-duster outside a club in Torwood Street.
Roddy, of Old Mill Road, Torquay, was given a suspended jail sentence.
He admitted the conspiracy charges and possessing a terror manual on his computer.
The court was told he had autism and had been influenced by Ruth since the pair met on a bricklaying course at South Devon College.
The pair were arrested under terrorism legislation on January 3 after a list of ingredients which could have been used to make explosives was found in Roddy's house.
An area of Lymington Road was sealed off by armed police and the bomb squad called in.
At that stage police did not know how far his activities went. Ruth was arrested later that day.
A chocolate box containing letters cut out from magazines and newspapers was found with the addresses of mosques in other parts of the country.
Roddy's laptop was found to contain an al-Qaeda training manual and Breivik's '2083 A European Declaration of Independence'. This was the Norweigian's manifesto which he released before killing 77 people in 2011 and which incited a war against Muslims.
Jeremy Atkinson, prosecuting, said: "Both developed an obsession with the personality and ideology of Anders Breivik.
"The defendants had attempted to act out to some extent their own form of activity under the banner of Knights Templar, an organisation discussed at some length by Anders Breivik and aspired to be part of that organisation or their own version of it."
In July, the pair had taken part in an initiation right with each of them branding the other on the upper arm with a hot metal cross to signify their allegiance to the Knights Templar.
Before the arrest police had been hunting whoever was responsible for graffiti attacks on buildings in Torquay and Brixham dating back to July, 2012.
Red spray paint and the initials KT had been daubed on buildings and 72 incidents of criminal damage were attributed to the pair.
Among the buildings targeted were Brixham police station, a council-owned building in St Mary's Park, the Union Street car park in Torquay and a children's play area in Plainmoor.
Racist slogans were sprayed on the Torquay Islamic Centre and a letter said 'Leave this town today or there will be hell to pay'.
Police arrested Roddy after a billboard had been daubed with the words 'Knights Templar'.
Police analysed Facebook traffic between Roddy and Ruth and the pair 'revelled in causing damage'.
They even discussed which one of them might be responsible for setting fire to vehicles in the area.
Lee Brembridge, mitigating for Roddy, said there was no evidence any of the material found would be used for terrorist purposes and had not been distributed.
He said Roddy was shy and had Asperger's and autism.
Kevin Hopper, mitigating for Ruth, said his client was a 'social inadequate' who was easily influenced by others.
He said Ruth had been 17 at the start of the offences and compensation claimed for the graffiti only amounted to £500.
Judge Francis Gilbert QC said: "At least one of the acts of criminal damage was motivated by racial hatred."
Roddy was given 23 months in a young offenders' institution, suspended for two years and 18 months of supervision.
Detective Inspector Costa Nassaris, from Devon and Cornwall's major crime investigation team, said: "I would like to reassure the community there was no indication of the public being at immediate risk of serious harm and there is little to indicate these men had embarked on preparing for any terrorist acts themselves.
"The police have worked closely with other agencies to ensure any risk is appropriately managed."