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Michael Cowan was found with hundreds of indecent images of boys

Michael Cowan was found with hundreds of indecent images of boys

A SEX offender who stashed hundreds of indecent images of young boys on his mobile phone and laptop has been jailed.

Michael Cowen was arrested back in 2018 after officers from Northumbria Police’s specialist Paedophile Online Investigation Team (Polit) received information he had been illegally downloading indecent images on his devices.

A mobile phone, laptop and three USB’s belonging to the 53-year-old were seized and after examination by the digital forensics team, a haul of more than 500 images were uncovered and 11 prohibited pornographic videos.

Of the 556 images discovered – 170 were identified as Category A – the most serious in the classification system.

Cowen was later charged and appeared before the courts where he pleaded guilty to three counts of making an indecent image of a child and one count of possessing a prohibited image of a child. He also admitted breaching a community order.

He appeared at Newcastle Crown on Tuesday where was jailed for 16 months.

Speaking after the sentencing Detective Constable Ian Beecroft, from Polit said: “Cowen is a repeat offender who admitted during his police interview that he was sexually attracted to children. He also knew his offending was wrong and tried to keep it a secret from the people he knew, until he was caught out.

“I am pleased the courts have recognised the risk he poses and that he’s behind bars where he is unable to continue offending.

“Thanks to a thorough investigation by our team and our digital media investigators, we were able to bring a solid case before the courts which left Cowen no choice but to admit his guilt and I’m pleased with the sentence passed down.

“I would always encourage anyone with information about this type of offending, or anyone who thinks they have been a victim to come forward and talk to us.”

Michael Cowen, of Leazes Court Newcastle, was sentenced to a total of 16 months imprisonment at Newcastle Crown Court. He was issued with a 10 year Sexual Harm Prevention Order and placed on the Sex Offender’s Register for 10 years.

Northern Echo

Emil Apreda also threatened to bomb Black Lives Matter protesters and MPs if £10m not paid, investigators say

A man who posed as a neo-Nazi has been jailed for threatening to bomb an NHS hospital at the height of the coronavirus pandemic.

Emil Apreda, a 33-year-old Italian man living in Berlin, threatened to place an explosive device in an unspecified English hospital unless he was paid £10m in Bitcoin.

His message purported to be from the neo-Nazi group Combat 18, but investigators said he used it as a “front for his extortion” and that he did not have access to a bomb.

Apreda emailed his threat to the NHS on 25 April 2020, but sent the same message to the National Crime Agency (NCA) control centre hours later.

Officials said they did not publicise the incident over fears that people would not seek hospital treatment because of safety concerns, and that Covid patients on ventilators would die if evacuated.

Tim Court, the head of investigations in the NCA’s cyber crime unit, said the threats were not known outside a “very tight circle” of people, including senior counter-terror police officers.

“Any loss of life was not acceptable to us – a lot was done, not a lot was known,” he said.

“This was one of the most significant threats we’ve seen in quite some time to UK infrastructure. At the height of this we were losing nearly 1,000 [Covid victims] a day and for six weeks we were trying to manage somebody who could have been planting a bomb in a hospital somewhere in the UK.”

Mr Court said concern about a potential bomb was heightened by the increased use of oxygen inside hospitals. Potential targets were “hardened” in response to the threat, he added.

Nigel Leary, who led the NCA operation, said the threat then evolved over the following weeks.

“Our offender paid close attention to other world events that were going on at the time to try to increase our perception of that threat and elicit the response they were after,” he told a press conference.

“After the death of George Floyd, they changed the modus operandi and threatened to place a bomb at a protest in support of the Black Lives Matter campaign.”

Then ahead of the anniversary of the assassination of Labour MP Jo Cox, who was killed by a neo-Nazi in June 2016, Apreda started threatening MPs.

On Friday, he was convicted of attempted extortion following a trial that started in December at Berlin’s Tiergarten District Court and jailed for three years.

Apreda was released on bail until the ruling is ratified, because under German law the verdict is not immediately binding and can be appealed within a week.

Investigators said Apreda, who previously worked in computing and privacy, was “confident” that he could hide his identity by using the dark web, encryption and other tools.

But analysis, including behavioural and linguistic science, narrowed down his location to several potential countries, whose investigative services were contacted, and Apreda was identified.

Armed police raided his Berlin flat and arrested him on 15 June, seizing electronic devices used for the scheme.

The NCA said that although Apreda was an Italian national, he was born in Berlin and there was “no realistic” prospect of him being extradited to the UK for trial.

The agency shared its material with German authorities, who also carried out their own investigation.

Mr Court said the investigation had not uncovered a link to the UK and that the NHS was believed to have been targeted because of its vulnerability at the time, rather than because Apreda had “an axe to grind”.

He said there was also no evidence of a true affinity with the far right, and the NCA believed the ideology was used in communications as an “attempt to utilise and leverage the fear that would engender”.

“This was serious crime, attempted extortion and using social engineering to make the risk seem more significant to try to get the response he wanted,” Mr Court added.

But he said that if the case had been tried in the UK, Apreda may have been charged with terror offences because of the nature and effect of his threats.

Lisa Jani, a spokesperson for the Berlin criminal courts, said British authorities appeared via video-link to give evidence at the trial and confirmed that no payment was made.

She said Apreda had been freed on bail and must report to police twice a week until the judgment is finalised.

An NHS spokesperson said: “The threat made during the extortion demand significantly added to the pressures on the NHS during the covid pandemic and meant senior leaders and emergency response staff were called on to direct the NHS aspects of the response to this threat.

“The threat and demand was made at a time that hospitals were at their most vulnerable, and could have resulted in significant loss of life.”

The Independent

ONLY days after leaving jail, a convicted rapist went on the rampage robbing and terrorising women staff in four Bolton shops.

Homeless Stuart Partington “terrorised and tormented” victims with a knife and a gun over six hours one day last November in Bolton town centre, a court was told.

Yesterday was his 33rd birthday and at Manchester Crown Court he was jailed for life with a recommendation he serves at least eight years.

Mr Justice Forbes told him: “You have shown no pity for your victims or remorse for these grave crimes.

“In one case you sexually attacked one of them – it was as bad a case of indecent assault as it is possible to imagine.

“Words cannot express the true measure of the horror and degradation you inflicted upon your victim.”

Bolton-born Partington, of no settled address, admitted four robberies and the indecent assault. He also admitted twice indecently assaulting a man in a hostel where both were staying a few days before the robberies.

His counsel, Ian McDonald QC, said Partington had an untreatable personality disorder and was not mentally ill.

“He understands the seriousness of the offences, but has no insight into the terror and alarm he has caused,” said counsel. “It simply does not register.”

David Friesner, prosecuting, said Partington grabbed hold of assistants, threatening them with weapons and demanding cash.

In all, he got £340 from tills and handbags, a gold chain and personal jewellery. It included one woman’s wedding and engagement rings, which he sold.

Some victims feared they would be raped. They were dragged round the shops and a gun was put in their mouths. The knife was also held against throats.

In the sex attack, he cut through the woman’s jumper and ‘T’ shirt, fondled her breasts and removed other clothing.

He touched her private parts with the knife, dragged her upstairs and indecently assaulted her again. The ordeal lasted 45 minutes before he left. Partington bought an airgun and pellets before the last two robberies.

The court heard he was freed less than a month earlier from a seven year term imposed in May, 1991, for raping a woman.

Partington was given a life sentences for the robberies. He was given concurrent terms of eight years for the attack on the woman and four years for the indecent assaults on the man.

Bolton News

From 1996

His more recent conviction can be found here

AN EBBW Vale man has been jailed for six months after threatening to burn down a mosque and “blow up” council buildings.

Robert Armstrong, 45, called 999 on November 24 while walking along Steelworks Road, in Ebbw Vale.

Speaking to the police call handler, Armstrong threatened to kill council officers and members of the Muslim community, particularly those of Pakistani origin, as well as threatening to blow up the Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council offices and a mosque.

Armstrong told the operator: “I have had enough. I have had a gutsful of lockdown. My issues are with the government, the police, and the NHS.

“I am going to f*** up as many lives as I can. By the time I am finished the Muslim community in Wales will be p***** off because I will murder them.

“The council are my top target. You better get everyone out of that building because I will blow it up.”

Prosecuting, Lowri Wynn Morgan said Armstrong, of Station Road, Waunlwyd, told the call handler that if she sent officers to find him, he would “send your officers back in body bags.”

Officers were sent to stop the defendant as he walked along Steelworks Road, and he was arrested after being Tasered.

Stuart John, in mitigation for Armstrong, who was sentenced at Cardiff Crown Court on Wednesday, said the defendant had been suffering with his mental health, having recently moved GP surgeries and being unable to access his prescribed medicine.

Mr John added: “This has been his first taste of custody, and it has been an extremely sobering experience.”

Sentencing Armstrong, Judge Christopher Vosper said it was “not entirely clear what prompted” his “ranting and raving”.

He said: “You threatened to go to Blaenau Gwent council buildings and blow them up, and stab in the neck any council officer you could find.

“You also made threats against the Muslim community, particularly those of Pakistani origin. You threatened to kill them and destroy a mosque.

“The operator says she did not feel threatened and was unsure whether to take the threats seriously but felt she could not disregard them.”

However, Judge Vosper added: “No officer of the council or members of the Muslim community heard these threats being made. The victims never heard them and therefore never suffered any harm.”

He sentenced Armstrong to 26 weeks in prison for each of the offences, to be served concurrently.
South Wales Argus

A judge said John Dunbar’s ‘shameful performance’ at Liverpool One had no place in our city

A racist rapist was told he doesn’t belong belong in Liverpool after he hurled “vile abuse” at Christmas shoppers.

John Dunbar, aka Stuart Partington, was filmed in Liverpool One launching a tirade of abuse at three Asian men last December.

The 57-year-old was captured on film hurling insults such as “c***s” and “horrible b******s” at passers-by.

Dunbar initially followed two Asian men while telling people to “f*** off” and saying he was Muslim.

After he was challenged by onlookers he told people he had been released from a 26 year prison sentence.

On Friday, a judge at Liverpool Crown Court blasted Dunbar’s behaviour, telling him there is “no place” for racism in Liverpool, which she described as a “welcoming and inclusive city”.

Judge Louis Brandon, sentencing, said: “Liverpool is a welcoming and inclusive city.

“That was demonstrated by the way that those who had the misfortune to deal with you on that day sought to protect each other.

“There is no place in this city for behaviour like that or people like you who hold such offensive views and prowl the streets.

“The public need protecting from you.”

Fiona McNeill, prosecuting, explained that the incident took place on December 2 at around 5pm when Dunbar “approached two Asian males” while “acting in an aggressive manner”.

Ms McNeill told the court that Dunbar followed the two men while shouting at them.

She said: “He was seen approaching two males, telling people to f*** off and said he was Muslim.”

Ms McNeill said he had asked one of the men “if he had cut to his hand” as he waved his bloodied arm in the air.

She added: “He seemed to be accusing the man for the injury to his hand” and is “heard to tell them to stop ganging up on him”.

Footage of the incident was played in the court, and in the video Dunbar shouts at a third man: “I’m not a f***ing radical alright”, adding: “You want to f*** with me bro? I’ve just done 26 years in prison, you mother f***er.

“You wanna f*** with me? I’ll bring the f***ing rain, the f***ing dogs down on you mother f***ers. Now f*** off.”

In the horrific abuse he calls onlookers “c***s” and “horrible b******s” while yelling “that’s right, keep walking”.

Dunbar then continues, and even says: “This is my country, don’t f***ing invade my country with your f***ing s***.”

Gesturing to a cut on his hand Dunbar says “E-N-G-L-I-S-H, English, see that? That’s f***ing English blood”.

In the video Dunbar continues to abuse members of the public and approached Lila Tamea, who filmed the ordeal, and said she had “no words” for the racism.

Ms Tamea was protected by other members of the public who intervened.

He also approaches someone off camera, while a woman can be heard saying “stop being a racist” and shouts: “Let’s go you Muslim c***.”

Footage from the body worn camera on a police officer shows an officer asking about the cut on his hand and offering to take Dunbar to the hospital, which he declines.

When asked what had happened Dunbar replied “I haven’t a clue” and admitted to the officer he had had a drink.

He then becomes agitated saying “I don’t need police, I’m not causing trouble” before the officers arrested him outside WHSmith for a public order offence.

A witness can be heard telling the officer “There’s been about three or four Asian guys, he has thrown racist abuse, I think he has called one a foreign b*****d”.

When arrested Dunbar was silent and refused to provide his name, but then his outburst continues as he shouts: “F*** you mate, f*** you right listening to them.

“So you’re saying I’m being racist what’s racist?”

Dunbar then resists arrests and continues to struggle before officers apply leg restraints and a spit hood and find a razorblade.

He was later charged with assaulting an emergency worker after he headbutted one of the police officers.

Dunbar has 26 previous convictions for 60 offences.

The court heard that in 1991 Dunbar was jailed for rape and a breach of a suspended sentence.

Ms McNeill explained that in 1995 was jailed for life with a recommendation of at least eight years in prison after robbing and terrorising female staff in four shops with a knife and imitation gun.

In his rampage a judge said he “terrorised and tormented” his victims over six hours in Bolton town centre.

Mr Justice Forbes told Dunbar: “You have shown no pity for your victims or remorse for these grave crimes.

“In one case you sexually attacked one of them – it was as bad a case of indecent assault as it is possible to imagine.

“Words cannot express the true measure of the horror and degradation you inflicted upon your victim.”

Dunbar had entered one Bolton store where he produced a handgun and tied up one 40-year-old female victim before doing the same in a second shop.

Dunbar went to a third shop, producing the knife and a handgun and made off with cash before going on to rob the fourth store, where he was “striking the victim several times with a gun causing wounds to her head”.

John Dunbar, aka Stuart Partington, 57

David Lister, defending, said: “The greatest mitigation is his guilty plea. He didn’t plead guilty at his earliest plea trial and preparation hearing, it wasn’t long after he entered his guilty pleas.

“I have had a conference with him before the hearing, he does wish for me to express his apologies and regret for the clear distress he caused to the members of the public who had to witness his frankly appalling behaviour.

“He is remorseful for that behaviour. It is clear Dunbar didn’t cope well in his release from custody.”

Mr Lister explained Dunbar had been serving a 26 year sentence and had been released for six weeks before his rampage.

Mr Listed said Dunbar “wasn’t in receipt of the support he evidently needed”.

Dunbar, of Great Howard Street, Liverpool city centre, admitted two counts of using threatening or abusive words or behaviour, and one count of resisting or obstructing a constable, possession of a bladed article and racially aggravated harassment.

Judge Brandon, summarising the offences, said: “You caused yourself an injury with a blade you were carrying at a busy shopping centre in December when the area was full of families.

“You embarked upon a racist rampage, hurling vile abuse at two young men.”

Judge Brandon said Dunbar then “turned on another member of the public” as he abused other innocent bystanders.

“Nobody should have to put up with that shameful behaviour.”

The judge added: “There were children present, it is obvious from that footage there were a lot of people present in that area Christmas shopping.”

Judge Brandon, referring to the racially aggravated offences, said: “It’s hard to envisage a more serious offence of its type, you continually made racist comments.”

The judge ruled that “serious alarm or distress was caused when you waved around your bloody arm”.

Judge Brandon said: “It is clear from the footage you were embarking on a shameful performance.”

After commenting that he had been under the influence of alcohol at the time the judge said: “I have considered all that has been said on your behalf.”

Judge Brandon noted that Dunbar had mental health difficulties but said: “It has not been suggested any of your difficulties affect your culpability and I do not find that they do.”

“In reality there is little that can be said to mitigate these offences save your guilty pleas.”

Referring to Dunbar’s previous offences Judge Brandon said: “You have made a career out of serious criminal offending.”

Dunbar was jailed for three years.

Liverpool Echo

A convicted paedophile and former member of a banned neo-Nazi terrorist group has been jailed for unsupervised contact with children.

Ryan Fleming, 30, of Horsforth, Leeds, was a regional organiser for National Action, which was outlawed in 2016.

Counter terror police who raided his home in December found he was using Instagram to message young teenagers.

On Friday he admitted breaching a sexual harm prevention order and was sentenced to six months in prison.

Sentencing him at Leeds Crown Court, Judge Mushtaq Khokar said Fleming knew “fully well” that what he was doing was forbidden.

The court heard that he used an anonymised account to message children and also joined a chat group containing young participants in which thousands of messages were exchanged.

Ryan Fleming (right) attended a National Action demonstration in Newcastle in 2016

A sexual harm prevention order, which bans Fleming from unsupervised contact with children, was imposed when he was jailed in 2017 for sexually abusing a 14-year-old girl he met on Facebook.

In 2012, he was convicted of falsely imprisoning and sexually abusing a young boy.

Fleming was prolific online, where he promoted the violent Satanist organisation Order of Nine Angles and quoted the Moors murderer Ian Brady.

He spent time as the north-east organiser of National Action, including giving speeches at rallies, before it was banned.

The group was outlawed as a terrorist organisation in 2016 and since then 15 people have been jailed for remaining members.

BBC News

His previous convictions are here and here.

Kane Hutchison, nicknamed the ‘Beast of Bensham’, assaulted the man who made remarks about his convictions for sex offences

A disgraced former football coach and sex offender knocked out a man who mocked his convictions on a nightclub dancefloor, a court heard.

Kane Hutchison, originally from Gateshead, was jailed for four years in 2015 after a jury found him guilty of targeting two teenage boys over the internet and inciting them into sexual activity online.

The 31-year-old, nicknamed the ‘Beast of Bensham’, was already in custody when he stood trial after being sentenced to three years for sexually assaulting a 13-year-old boy who he had offered to take to watch a football match.

He was released from prison in December 2017, but put back behind bars the next year for breaching the terms of his licence.

Now living in Leeds, Hutchison is in court again after punching a man to the floor in the city’s Tunnel nightclub.

LeedsLive reports that the victim and his group of friends had made remarks about Hutchison’s previous convictions.

Hutchison’s pal Jason Burd then attacked the victim and his friend after they were all kicked out of the nightclub.

Hutchison and Burd, 28, were handed suspended sentences this week at Leeds Crown Court after pleading guilty to a number of offences.

Both groups were kicked out of the club but there was another confrontation outside.

The court was shown CCTV footage of Hutchison’s friend Jason Burd attacking the first victim and his friend and Hutchison joining in.

The first victim suffered bruising to both eyes and his nose and a cut to his head and the second victim suffered a fracture to the middle finger on his right hand.

The court was told Hutchison later apologised to the victims in person and via text and offered to pay them compensation.

In statements, the victims described being afraid to leave their homes after the incident.

Hutchison, of Savoy Court, Bradford Road, Pudsey, Leeds, pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm and affray.

He has 13 previous convictions, most of which are for breaches of football banning orders.

He also has previous convictions for sexual offences, including for sexually assaulting a 13-year-old boy and inciting other underage boys into sexual activity.

The former football coach used his victims’ love of football to groom them, ChronicleLive reported.

Speaking about Hutchison’s attack inside the nightclub, probation officer Eme Musgrove said: “The other group were calling him names in regard to his previous convictions but he has heard [that type of abuse] before so does not know why he reacted that way on this occasion.”

Rukhshanda Hussain, mitigating for Hutchison, said her client believed a punch had been thrown as well as the insults.

She said he was just trying to ‘have his co-defendant’s back’ during the confrontation outside the nightclub but then de-escalated the situation.

She said his apology showed “maturity and contrition”.

The barrister also said Hutchison was born and raised in Gateshead but moved to Leeds to escape “negative influences” and abuse he was getting.

She said he has stopped going out since the incident and will soon be in stable employment and settled accommodation.

Burd, of Manderston Chase, Armley, Leeds, pleaded guilty to two counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Hutchison was handed a nine-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, and ordered to complete 15 days of rehabilitation activity and 200 hours of unpaid work.

Burd was handed a 13-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, and ordered to complete 250 hours of unpaid work.

They were both ordered to pay £500 compensation to the first victim and £500 towards prosecution costs.

Burd was also ordered to pay £750 to the second victim.

The Chronicle

His previous conviction can be found here

A boy from Cornwall is the youngest person in the UK to commit a terrorism offence. The teenager pleaded guilty to 12 offences and was given a two-year youth rehabilitation order instead.

His actions, carried out from his home in the South West, invite two immediate questions.

How and why?

The how is relatively easy to answer. He downloaded a bomb-making guide, while aged only 13, the first of many such documents he would own or share with others.

The why is more complicated.

He was active in online neo-Nazi networks – spaces where he could mask his age and real identity.

In this way, he was able to lead and recruit others.

After first joining extremist forums in 2018, the teenager followed the digital signposts into more private chat groups occupied by people from around the world.

Within months, he was creating the UK version of a neo-Nazi group called Feuerkrieg Division, which – unknown to him – was led by an even younger boy from Estonia.

FKD, since banned as a terrorist organisation in the UK, is one of several similar groups to first emerge online.

The neo-Nazi ideology promoted by FKD is at the furthest end of the extreme right.

It mocks far right organisations which engage in democratic politics or rallies, saying instead the only way forward is to trigger a race war and societal collapse through terrorist violence.

To this end, it glorifies various killers responsible for racist mass murder and provides practical instructions to its members, such as information on how to make and use weapons.

In court, the boy’s lawyers said he was home-schooled by his grandmother, socially isolated, and emotionally undeveloped after experiencing a “simply dreadful childhood” which resulted in him having no contact with his parents.

But, online, rather than seeming passive and lacking in confidence, he was assertive and confident enough to command others.

As a recruiter for FKD, he would send prospective members a list of questions and then vet them for suitability – he recruited five people in this way, although one was an undercover police officer.

He was more at home online than he was in the real world.

However, there is not a binary division between the internet and normal life.

A series of extreme right-wing terror attacks have been spawned online and carried out with an online audience watching, including the Christchurch attack in New Zealand that killed 51 Muslim worshippers.

FKD, despite having such young leading figures, has generated a series of prosecutions around the world involving older people.

  • A Lithuanian member jailed for attempting to detonate explosives in the capital city.
  • In Germany a member convicted of planning violence that posed a threat to the state.

In the UK, a teenager from Rugby called Paul Dunleavy – who was recruited by the Cornish boy – was jailed last year for planning a terrorist attack.

The very nature of these quickly constructed organisations, which employ encrypted apps to communicate and recruit, allows such disparate individuals to come together.

This danger comes from having such groups of people encouraging one other’s worst tendencies.

‘Extreme hatred’

Indeed, the culture of groups like FKD is to make people feel guilty and worthless if they do not act on their violent beliefs.

The Cornish boy, for example, praised the Christchurch attacker.

He encouraged members to be “active” and said that “failure of activity will result in expulsion”.

He continuously posted violent and hateful material. One document stated that “every resistance group uses assassination (murder) and torture (rape) as weapons against the agents of the State”.

Following the boy’s sentencing at the Old Bailey, Ch Supt Jim Pearce, from Devon and Cornwall Police, said: “The young age of the offender combined with the extreme hatred displayed and the quick progression of his role within the worldwide extremist group brings into sharp focus the real and clear danger of online radicalisation.”

BBC News

Michael Cowen accumulated his disgusting collection over a three-year period on an electronic device at his home

Michael Cowen leaves North Tyneside Magistrates' Court in North Shields (Image: Newcastle Chronicle)

Michael Cowen leaves North Tyneside Magistrates’ Court in North Shields (Image: Newcastle Chronicle)

A paedophile is facing jail after he was caught with a sick stash of more than 500 twisted pictures of children.

Michael Cowen gathered the disgusting collection over a three-year period between 2015 and 2018 from his home in Fenham, Newcastle.

However, the 53-year-old’s secret obsession was eventually unearthed after police discovered 556 vile images of youngsters on one of his electronic devices.

North Tyneside Magistrates’ Court heard that 170 of the disturbing pictures were category A – the most serious kind, which involve penetrative sexual activity.

Now, Cowen, of Leazes Court, Barrack Road, in Fenham, has been told he is facing a minimum of 26 weeks in prison after he pleaded guilty to three counts of making an indecent image of a child and one of possessing a prohibited image of a child.

Ben Woodward, prosecuting, said Cowen gathered his collection between October 2015 and September 2018.

“I would ask that this matter be committed to the crown court for sentence,” Mr Woodward continued.

“As you have heard, the defendant was in possession of 170 category A images, 113 category B and 273 category C. I think it’s likely to exceed this court’s sentencing powers.

“Category A images runs a minimum of 26 weeks in custody up to three years.”

Michael Gibson, defending, added: “I would not disagree with that.”

Magistrates deemed that their sentencing powers were insufficient and committed Cowen to Newcastle Crown Court.

Chairman of the bench, Keith McIntosh, said: “You have pleaded guilty and, obviously, that will be taken into consideration at sentence.

“We’re going to send the matter to the crown court for sentence.

“You will appear there on March 2 at 10am and you will be on unconditional bail until then.”

The Chronicle

Boy from Cornwall whose offending began at 13 and who founded UK branch of FKD will be sentenced next week

The teenage leader of a neo-Nazi group has been convicted over offending that began at the age of 13, making him the youngest person in the UK known to have committed a terrorist offence.

The boy, from Cornwall, who cannot be identified, appeared before the Old Bailey in London via video link on Monday and admitted 12 offences – two of dissemination of terrorist documents and 10 of possession of terrorist material.

At 13 he downloaded a bombmaking manual and began gathering terrorist material. Later in the same year he joined the neo-Nazi cult Fascist Forge, and at 14 he went on to share far-right extremist ideology in online chatrooms.

The court heard that the youth, now 16, led the British branch of the now banned neo-Nazi terrorist organisation Feuerkrieg Division (FKD). The group idolises mass murderers such as those who carried out far-right terrorist attacks in Norway, the US and New Zealand in recent years. FKD encourages so-called “lone wolf” attacks.

Between October 2018 and July 2019, the boy collected a significant amount of far-right material and was active on online platforms, expressing racist, homophobic and antisemitic views. He talked about gassing Jewish people, hanging gay people and wanting to “shoot up their parades”, the court heard.

Naomi Parsons, prosecuting, said police searched the property where the boy lived with his grandmother following reports that he was constructing a weapon. No weapon was found but officers discovered a Nazi flag and well-known Nazi slogan on the garden shed, as well as several manuals about making weapons and instructions on how to kill people on his phone and computer.

“The age is the alarming factor and his conduct betrays a maturity beyond his chronological age,” Parsons said.

In a police interview, the defendant said he had made racist, homophobic and antisemitic comments “to look cool”.

It was claimed that he was in touch with a 14-year-old Estonian boy who founded the FKD and was responsible for vetting and recruiting members and propaganda. They used encrypted messages to discuss their hatred of particular groups.

The defendant then set up FKD GB and recruited five British members from online platforms, including Paul Dunleavy, 17, from Rugby, who was jailed last year for preparing acts of terrorism.

The cell wanted to enact “white jihad” and the genocide of people who were not white, the court heard.

In mitigation, Deni Matthews said the defendant had a “simply dreadful childhood”, and everything he did was in order to “seek approval” from others online.

The judge Mark Dennis said he would need to consider whether the teenager had been immature or naive before passing sentence. He said: “I need to assess a person of this age who sends these messages, [and] whether this is true beliefs or the product of firstly grooming but then self-aggrandisement and the other matters.”

The boy was granted bail subject to strict conditions including residing at his home and attending youth offending services, along with a ban on using computers without police permission and bans on using any private browsing mode, encryption software or virtual storage devices such as the cloud.

The boy will be sentenced on 8 February.
The Guardian