A teenage neo-Nazi accused of plotting a “new Columbine” threatened to shoot one of his classmates in the head and stab another in the neck, the Old Bailey heard today.
The schoolboy allegedly brought a lock-knife to college and showed it to other students during an induction day. He also threatened to shoot one classmate in the head and stab another in the neck, the court was told.
The boy, who was 16 at the time of the alleged offences and is now 17, cannot be named because of his age.
He is standing trial accused of plotting a terrorist attack on his former school and the college where he was studying for his A-levels, as well as targets including Loughborough University, council offices and a cinema. He is also accused of having a terrorist manual and possessing parts for an improvised explosive.
The youth denies the charges. He and two other 17-year-old boys have already admitted possessing petrol bombs and pipe bombs. He has also pleaded guilty to possessing an offensive weapon.
According to a fellow college student, the war-obsessed teenager was “weird and intimidating” and “didn’t speak to anyone”.
“I thought he was a bit weird and intimidating and the sort of person I wouldn’t like to spend the day with,” he said. “He was different and he didn’t like to speak to anyone and kept himself to himself, he was an angry person. He took things out of context and said on numerous occasions that he would shoot me in the head.
“There was some banter in class one day and I was laughing and he went mad and said he would shoot me in the head and said he would stab someone else in the neck. I said to him, ‘would you stop being ******* grumpy’, and that’s when he said it – ‘shut the **** up or I’ll shoot you in the head’.
“I thought he was joking but he said it in an aggressive manner. Another person was laughing and he turned around and said ‘I’ll stab you in the throat’. He stormed out the classroom and went home,” the student told the jury.
“During an induction day he got a knife out of his bag and showed it to us. It was a lock-knife, he opened it and the blade was about four-inches long. He didn’t like college and he said he hated it and didn’t want to be there. I never went to his house but he told me he makes drugs at home,” he said.
He and two pals recorded themselves making and testing petrol bombs out of wine bottles and lighter fluid behind a local leisure centre.
The boy had sessions with the school counsellor who described him as having low left esteem. “He came across as very low, lacking in self esteem and quite negative,” said the counsellor. “He seemed like he was very low and like he needed support.”
The boy faced disciplinary action at school because he called another student “a ******* Muslim”, the court heard. He also told his counsellor that he pulled out a knife in public and threatened a group of youths with it. Giving evidence the counsellor said: “There was a confrontation with a group of lads who were shouting at an old lady. He pulled out a knife and threatened them.”
In therapy he talked about wanting to get his gun licence and his counsellor said he was “fascinated by the army, weaponry and wars”, adding: “The student said he has no one to talk too and feels frustrated by his family and they won’t listen to him. He said he gets angry quickly and it doesn’t take much for him to flip. He feels everyone is against him and there’s no point trying to make friends because they would pick on him.”
The defendant said he and his mother were evicted from their home when he was 11 and “hasn’t felt settled since then”. “He said he feels targeted by students and thinks there’s something wrong with him,” the counsellor told the jury. “He feels abandoned by his dad and thinks there’s something wrong with him because his dad never wanted to get to know him. He talked about getting a gun licence and said he takes his anger out shooting his air rifle.”
A classmate said the teenager brought a gun into school, and “hated anyone who wasn’t white or Christian” and wanted to join the Ku Klux Klan.
“He had a book with a list of anyone’s names who he didn’t like and he wanted to get revenge in any kind of way,” he told the jury. “He said he had a lot of (Knights) Templar stuff and things that aren’t Christian or white he wanted to get rid of. He said his uncle or someone he knows is in the KKK and he wanted to join. He made remarks that people who were Asian or Polish should go back to their own countries. Every lesson he always used to say he knew someone who could get him a gun.”
He said that when a black person walked past the defendant, the youth called them a racist name.
The teen took three knives and a gun to school with him and showed them to his classmates, he said. “In December he started showing me weapons and had three knives and a gun,” the classmate added. “He said he had a bomb and had researched how to make them. He had a Swiss army knife in his bag at school and a kitchen knife. There was a gun in the main compartment and a dagger in his coat.
“Polish, Asian and Philippines people he didn’t like at all and would make remarks behind their backs that they should go back to their country.”
The trial continues.