Wannabe terrorist, 24, watched YouTube videos for how to make DIY bombs
Robert Gregory, 24, who fantasised about killing former Prime Minister Theresa May, was jailed for four-and-a-half years after he pleaded guilty to terror offences
An aspiring terrorist who fantasised about killing former Prime Minister Theresa May and blowing himself up in a mosque watched YouTube videos to find out how to make a bomb, a court heard.
Robert Gregory admitted watching two videos about how to construct explosives – one called ‘How to make a mini bomb’ and the other entitled ‘How to make a simple time bomb DIY’.
A court heard that when Gregory was asked about why he wanted to commit these violent attacks, he said: “I want to stand up for my people.”
The 24-year-old was caught when police discovered the online searches on his phone and seized his diary.
He pleaded guilty to terror offences and was sentenced to four-and-a-half years in jail after a judge condemned his “clear terrorist motivations”.
Winchester Crown Court heard that Gregory, from Bournemouth, committed the offences just eight days after being released on licence from prison, where he had been serving time for stabbing a homeless person when he was just 16.
In diary entries read to the court, Gregory wrote that he wanted to “stab” the then Prime Minister Theresa May and “kill as many MPs on road to Downing Street”.
He also wrote that he would like to “kill a news reporter live on TV” and “blow myself up in a mosque”.
Prosecutor Julia Faure Walker also revealed that he had searched “How to justify killing a Muslim” and “Where can I buy a gun in Bournemouth?” online.
Another diary entry from Gregory said that “not enough” people were killed in the Christchurch Mosque shootings in 2019 in which 51 people were shot dead by a white supremacist.
The diary entry read: “‘Got news of terror attack in New Zealand finally we are taking a stand.
“Why do Muslims continue to condemn attacks on their own people not the ones on us?”
Other diary entries involved Gregory asking if an attack is still a terror attack if the attacker is not Muslim and Gregory’s plans to recruit “troops” that he would radicalise over a period of time.
Another entry detailed plans to get in touch with ISIS to learn how to make a suicide vest.
It read: “Try to get hold of ISIS terrorist group once out of prison although I am not a Muslim so I can learn to make suicide vest.”
Gregory went on to suggest he could use the suicide vest at a gay pride event.
Ms Faure Walker told the court that one of the videos he watched in April 2019 showed how to make a bomb using card and fireworks and the other showed how to make a time bomb using household items including an analogue clock and a mouse trap.
When interviewed by police about the diary entries, Gregory denied he wrote them and claimed he got along with Muslims, the court heard.
Defending, Paul Wakerley told the court that the videos Gregory watched were easily accessed on YouTube – with the one about the time bomb having 845,237 views and the other one having 388,000 views.
“There was no specialist skill required to find these videos, they were found on YouTube,” he said.
Mr Wakerley said that Gregory’s views were not underpinned by extremism but rather by more general feelings of violence.
He said: “Many of the diary entries that are referred to are extremely difficult to to listen to but they are diary entries of a man in prison over the course of two years and they are not part of the offence that he is convicted with for his plea.”
Gregory pleaded guilty to two charges of collecting terrorist information.
Sentencing, Judge Jane Miller QC told him: “You had clear terrorist motivations. I assess that you present a very high risk of harm to the public.”
Gregory was also subjected to a terrorism notification order, which means he will be closely monitored for a period of 30 years.