Neo-Nazi who planned terror attacks given new jail sentence for child sex offences

Boy, 17, convicted of five sexual assaults against a younger girl

One of the sketches made by the teenager
(Counter Terrorism Policing North East)

A teenage neo-Nazi who was jailed for planning terror attacks has been given a new sentence for child sex offences.

The 17-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was found guilty of five counts of sexually touching a girl under the age of 13.

He was given an 18-month detention and training order for the assaults at Leeds Youth Court on Wednesday.

District Judge Richard Kitson said the term could be served concurrently to his previous sentence of six years and eight months for preparing acts of terrorism.

“The offences [against the girl] are wholly different to those that have resulted in your current sentence and, in theory, consecutive sentences would be justified,” he told the defendant. “I think that would be inappropriate in view of the extended sentence which you are currently serving.”

The defendant is due to turn 18 this month, meaning the ban on identifying him would expire automatically, but his lawyers have applied to extend the reporting restriction.

At a separate hearing at Manchester Crown Court on Wednesday, Judge Nicholas Dean QC granted an extension until a hearing where the arguments can be considered in full on 11 January.

The boy had detailed plans to firebomb synagogues and other buildings in the Durham area as part of what he believed was an upcoming “race war”.

Before being arrested, he wrote that his upcoming 12 weeks of study leave would be “showtime”.

He was convicted of six terror offences, including preparing acts of terrorism, disseminating terrorist publications and possessing material for terrorist purposes.

A court heard that he had been “tipped off” by a fellow extremist on the Fascist Forge forum that a police raid was imminent and deleted evidence as a result, but police could not corroborate that claim.

When he was arrested in March 2019, police found a piece of paper in his pocket containing a message in code that said: “Killing is probably easier than your paranoid mind thinks. You’re just not used to it.”

The boy was carrying a drawing of a fellow school pupil being beheaded, because he believed he was gay and deserved “judgement”.

After reading Norway shooter Anders Breivik’s manifesto, he had written his own version entitled: “Storm 88: A manual for practical sensible guerrilla warfare against the k**e [offensive term for a Jewish person] system in Durham city area, sieg hiel.”

It called for lone-wolf terror attacks to fight against a supposed “genocide” of white people and listed proposed attack targets in Durham, including schools, public transport and council buildings.

Writing on the Fascist Forge forum, the teenager claimed a race war was “inevitable”, and called himself an “accelerationist”.

Prosecutors said they had not identified a “particular act or acts” of terrorism that the boy was going to commit, but that he had been preparing for some kind of atrocity since October 2017.

He denied all offences, claiming he had adopted the terrorist persona for “shock value” and did not want to carry out attacks, but was convicted unanimously of all charges in November 2019.

The court heard that the boy had been an “adherent of a right-wing ideology” since the age of 13, and that his views became more extreme as he immersed himself in fascist websites and forums.

By 2017, he was describing himself as a neo-Nazi and operated a since-deleted Twitter account with a handle referring to a British fascist leader.

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-radicalisation programme but later stopped engaging.

The boy claimed he was not an extremist, but started another Twitter account and continued communicating with contacts, while accessing a “large quantity of extreme right-wing literature” online and in hard copy.

The court heard he had steeped himself in antisemitic conspiracy theories and ranted about Jewish governors at his school, Jewish MPs and the press.

In August 2018, he described himself as a “radical national socialist” and follower of Adolf Hitler, saying he had read Mein Kampf and had a photo of the Nazi leader on his phone.

Prosecutors said the boy obtained and shared terror manuals on making explosives and firearms on the Ironmarch and Fascist Forge online forums, but also drew on jihadi propaganda.

He had searched for Isis execution videos and used al-Qaeda literature, as well as a jihadi guide on making deadly poisons, including ricin.

By November 2018, he had progressed to extreme occult neo-Nazism and voiced support for satanism.

The teenager declared his support for the “siege” ideology, which was started by an American neo-Nazi and advocates the use of terror attacks to trigger a race war.

“Democracy is very much a dead system; political violence therefore, can only help us,” he wrote. “The white race is being silently genocided, the west is dying.”

Sentencing him for the terror offences earlier this year, the previous Recorder of Manchester, Judge David Stockdale QC, found the teenager’s subsequently diagnosed autism spectrum disorder played a part in his offending.

He described the youth as “highly intelligent, widely read, quick-thinking and articulate” but told him that it was “a matter of infinite regret that you pursued at such a young age a twisted and – many would say – a sick ideological path”.

The Independent

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