A teenage neo-Nazi accused of plotting a “new Columbine” school massacre idolised EDL founder Tommy Robinson and wanted Hitler in power, the Old Bailey heard today (Weds).
The 16-year-old college student dreamed of the British National Party ruling the UK and told school pals he wished he was German, jurors were told. He stockpiled petrol and pipe bombs and weaponry in his bedroom where he had hung a Nazi Swastika flag over his bed and kept a copy of Mein Kampf in among books on bomb making.
The teenager is standing trial accused of plotting a massacre at his former school in Loughborough, Leicestershire, even drawing up a hit-list of staff and students he wanted to shoot.
Edward Roe, the manager of the Irish Clothing Company store in Loughborough where the teenager regularly bought military clothing and accessories, said he knew the boy held far-right wing views.
“We had a conversation with regards to the EDL, which I know stands for the English Defence League”, he said in a statement to the court. “I believe they incite hatred against different races and creeds, Asians in particular. He talked about Tommy Robinson, who I have heard of but I don’t know who he is. I didn’t want to talk about this kind of thing in the shop – I think he was glorifying Tommy Robinson, whoever he was.”
Robinson dramatically quit the EDL this week, saying he has concerns over the “dangers of far-right extremism”.
Shop assistant Kiran Deep Kaur said they got to know the teenager well as he visited the store twice a week, heading straight upstairs to look at the camouflage clothing. “I knew he had right wing political views”, she said. “He had mentioned Hitler, someone he would like to have in power.”
Another shop assistant, Nella Bartosoba, added: “I recall him talking about the BNP, and wanting them to be the leaders of England. He said he wouldn’t want the killing but he wanted someone like Hitler to be the leader. I told him he should not hold such views.”
Mr Roe, whose name was on the “hit list” with the accompanying comment: “Give him double amount of rounds, he’s a prick”, said he was forced to eject the boy from the store when he sought refuge in February. “He explained he had just pulled a knife on someone, and asked can you hide me”, he said. “I told him straight away he had to leave – I did this for the safety of the staff. I didn’t want anyone in the shop with a knife.”
The court has been shown CCTV of the teenager and a friend visiting hardware stores including Wicks and Wilkinson’s. The boy, who is now 17 cannot be named because of his age, is said to have bought a Colt-style gun at Merlin Archery, in Loughborough Road. When police raided his home in February, they found air rifles, a BB gun, a crossbow, and several homemade petrol bombs. It is alleged he also had parts for an improvised explosive device.
His notebook, emblazoned with the face of Cuban revolutionary Che Guevara, was filled with notes on alleged targets, plans for making explosives, and a note on “Operation New Columbine”. Jurors have also heard he had a book called Spree Killers, detailing infamous massacres including the 1999 Columbine High School shootings as well as the Virginia Tech massacre and the Dunblane School murders.
Mr Roe, in his statement, also revealed the boy had ordered a £99 stab proof vest which he was paying for in instalments. He added: “He also tried to order a death skull t-shirt. This is a logo, a German SS badge that would be worn on the collar. This is not an item that the Irish Clothing Company would be stocking or be associated with.”
The teenager, from Loughborough, who has Asperger’s Syndrome, denies possessing an article for a purpose connected with terrorism, possessing a document likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism, and possessing parts for an improvised explosive
He has pleaded guilty to possessing an offensive weapon.
See also “Arsenal of weapons found on teen’s bedroom floor, court heard”, Leicester Mercury, 9 October 2013
And “Teenager accused of planning new Columbine massacre at his school ‘idolised EDL leader Tommy Robinson and Hitler'”, Daily Mail, 9 October 2013