By Josh Hurn
A 16-year-old neo-Nazi who planned a series of co-ordinated terror attacks in Durham City has been jailed for 6 years and 8 months. Last week, a jury at Manchester Crown Court found the boy, now 17, to be guilty of planning terrorist acts between October 2017 and March 2018.
He was also convicted of disseminating a terrorist publication and three counts of possessing documents useful to someone preparing acts of terrorism.
He is now the youngest person to ever be convicted of terror offences in the U.K.
By 2017, he was describing himself as a neo-Nazi and operated a since-deleted Twitter account.
He is the youngest person to ever be convicted of terror offences in the UK
His racist and homophobic tweets drew the attention of police but when he was interviewed in September that year, he claimed they were posted “for a laugh”.
The teenager initially agreed to take part in the Prevent counter-terror programme but later stopped engaging.
When he was arrested in March, police found a piece of paper in his pocket containing a message that said: “Killing is probably easier than your paranoid mind thinks. You’re just not used to it … good hunting Friday.”
The jury were shown a detailed diary kept by the boy detailing his progress in relation to planning acts of terror, with one entry reading “I am moments away from constructing bombs and weapons, how exciting”.
The boy also had a piece of material expressing his desire to behead another student who he “suspected of being gay” which would be a “judgement exacted on the lowest of the low, as deserved”.
The jury were shown a detailed diary kept by the boy detailing his progress in planning acts of terror
As well as seeking to attack government and public locations, the boy also sought to carry out an arson spree on North-Eastern synagogues with Molotov cocktails. Jurors were shown his recent internet searches, which included the location of areas of Jewish worship in Newcastle.
The boy was also found to be in communication with an online gun auctioneer, in possession of instructions on how to make ricin and a homemade bomb.
Judge David Stockdale described the defendant as a “highly intelligent” boy who had “contempt for Jewish people, black people, gay people and disabled people”.
During his trial, the boy said he had merely adopted a rightwing “persona” and only did so for “shock value”. The fact he has a diagnosed autistic spectrum disorder and his submission of a letter of remorse was taken into account by the court.
Image: DPP Law via Flickr