A 16-year-old boy set up an extremist right-wing group including a member who plotted a terrorism attack, it can now be revealed.
Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard the teenager ran “The British Hand” from 5 August last year when he was 14 on the encrypted Telegram app.
One group member, Matthew Cronjager, from Essex, was convicted of planning terrorist acts on 3 September.
The cases can now be linked after reporting restrictions were lifted.
The teenager, from south Derbyshire, vetted others in private chat groups where they talked about “doing something” against ethnic minorities and discussed weapons, the court heard.
In one post, he wrote in capital letters: “I am planning an attack against the Dover coast where every Muslim and refugee has been given safety if you’re interested tell me now.”
He was given a two-year youth referral order on Thursday.
The teenager, who has been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, pleaded guilty in June to disseminating a terrorist publication called the Anarchy Cookbook Version 2000, disseminating a terrorist publication, and encouraging terrorism.
He downloaded a video of the Christchurch mosque attacks in New Zealand, and also has previous convictions for hate crimes, including threatening to blow up a mosque in January 2020.
Chief magistrate Paul Goldspring said the boy – who also received a three-year criminal behaviour order – had shown “seemingly entrenched views”.
Mr Goldspring said the facts of the case “give rise to genuine concerns” about the boy, but added a short custodial sentence would “serve little or no purpose”.
“I can’t emphasise how close you came to a further period of custody,” he said. “Until last night I was going to do so.
“I changed my sentencing reasons at about 11pm last night – that is how close you came.”
The boy’s case is connected to the conviction of 18-year-old Cronjager, who was found guilty at the Old Bailey last week.
The court heard he wanted to shoot an Asian friend over boasts that he slept with “white chicks”.
He tried to get hold of a 3D printed gun or a sawn-off shotgun to kill his teenage target, whom he likened to a “cockroach”.
Prosecutor Alistair Richardson said Cronjager is facing a sentence in “double figures” after his conviction for preparing acts of terrorism, and disseminating terrorist publications on Telegram.
Another 16-year-old boy from Kent, who was a member of the Telegram chat group, admitted disseminating a terrorist publication called the White Resistance Manual by sending an electronic link in August which allowed others to access it.
He was handed a 12-month youth referral order by Mr Goldspring, who said he did not want to interrupt his education.
“You have a bright future, I have seen your GCSE results,” he said.
“You didn’t encourage anyone to carry out acts of terrorism and there is no evidence you planned to do so. You had a subordinate role to (the other boy).”