Teenage neo-Nazi sentenced to six years
A teenager considered to hold neo-Nazi views has been sentenced to six years and eight months in custody after planning a terror attack in Durham.
The 17-year-old identified potential targets including schools, pubs and post offices, in a 'guerrilla warfare' manual, with police seizing documents – including one that contained details of a plan to carry out an arson campaign against synagogues – and a collection of far-right literature from his bedroom in March last year.
The unnamed teenager, who was 16 at the time, was also found to have researched firearms, explosives and knives by officers who analysed his computer and mobile phone devices. He was the youngest person to be convicted of planning a terrorist attack in the UK during a trial in which he described himself as a 'natural sadist'.
Manchester crown court heard of his 'admiration' for Adolf Hitler and fixation on the Columbine high school massacre, in which two teenagers killed 13 people in the US in 1999.
Judge David Stockdale described the defendant as having 'contempt for Jewish people, black people, gay people and disabled people'.
Alongside the custodial sentence for preparing terrorist acts between October 2017 and March 2019, the teenager will also serve five years on licence after his release.
The defendant said he had no intention of carrying out any attacks and claimed he had adopted a fake rightwing persona for 'shock value'. Defending, Nigel Edwards QC argued that the teenager’s offending should be viewed in the context of his autism, citing a psychiatric assessment in which a doctor had taken the view that his 'cognitive age was significantly affected by his disability'.