A teenage neo-Nazi accused of plotting a “new Columbine” brought a gun into college and pulled out knives in the middle of a lesson, the Old Bailey heard (Tues). The 16-year-old English Defence League supporter bragged about getting a machete for his birthday and making bombs in his bedroom, it is said.
One college pal said the teenager once pulled a large knife out of his trench coat pocket and told him “look at this”. Two weeks later, he brandished three knives in class when the teacher left the room, it is alleged. “He took me right to the bottom of the corridor and showed me this really long knife”, said the defendant’s fellow student. “It was in his trench coat, he had a massive pocket. He just goes: ‘Look at this’, then he put it back.”
He told jurors the teenager pulled out a knife from his boot and two other small blades when challenged by other students. “People were saying why don’t you get your knife out, the teacher was not in the room at the time”, he said. “He got them out in his hand on the table, from under the desk. He pulled one out of his boot, and he showed me all three.”
The boy, who is now 17 and cannot be named, is on trial accused of plotting a terrorist attack using weapons, homemade bombs, and explosives he had stockpiled in his bedroom. He allegedly planned a Columbine-style massacre at his former school in Loughborough, Leicestershire, and wanted to attack the council offices, a local cinema, and Loughborough University.
The court has heard the Nazi and EDL-obsessed teen had threatened to shoot and stab fellow college students, and had drawn up a list of targets for his attack in a notebook.
The witness, also 17, told jurors the defendant had bragged of having a list of people he wanted to kill, and had shown him a gun at college. “He said he had a gun on him at college and opened his bag’, he said. Under his coat he had a gun shape. He said it is, but he didn’t show me. I just saw what looks like an outline.”
He said the teenager claimed to carry the knives “for protection” and boasted about having a shooting range at home. He added: “He says he likes shooting, and I think he said he had been shooting ducks with his dad.”
The two boys were initially friends, but fell out when the defendant made a string of racist remarks at another college student, it is said. “He hated a lot of the foreign people on the course, and he said he would kill all of them”, he said. “He said all of them were getting dole money, benefit money, and he wished we could kill them all – out of order comments. He always fantasised of killing people, and said he had a gun range at home. He just said he had a list of people on there that he was going to kill.”
The court has heard the teenager and two pals made homemade petrol bombs and then filmed themselves testing them behind a local leisure centre. When police raided his home in February, they discovered a Nazi flag draped in his bedroom, and books about infamous mass murders alongside a copy of Hitler’s Mein Kampf. It is alleged he had parts for an improvised explosive in his room, along with knives, air rifles, and part-made petrol bombs.
His friend told the court the teenager went on the internet at college to look at EDL websites, and claimed to be downloading books on making bombs. “On one website there was a countdown clock at the end of the website for a person getting out of prison”, he added. “He would always go on about how he wouldn’t go to prison and would kill himself.”
The teenager, 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 two counts of possessing an offensive weapon.
The trial continues.