A classmate told teachers George Fowle could become ‘a school shooter’
A “racist” caught with explosive-making instructions after saying he wanted to bomb Camp America has been spared jail by a judge who told him: “Change your ways.”
George Fowle, who studied public services at North Kent College, was arrested at Heathrow Airport on June 18 last year on his way to the summer camp in the US.
The 20-year-old had been referred to the national anti-terror Prevent programme in March 2019 after a class member raised fears with teachers he could become a “school shooter”, the Old Bailey heard.
Fowle, from Snodland, appeared in court on Monday, where he pleaded guilty to two counts of collecting a record of use to a terrorist in January and February 2018.
The documents, entitled “Plastiqe.txt” and “How to make Nitroglycerin”, were said to contain “essentially correct and viable” instructions for making explosives.
Prosecutor Dan Pawson-Pounds said other material seized in the investigation showed Fowle had an “entrenched extreme right wing and racist mindset, as well as an interest in explosives, firearms and mass casualty incidents in public places such as schools”.
This included a video of the Christchurch mosque mass shootings, which left 51 people dead during Friday prayers on March 15 last year.
Investigators also found a Snapchat comment sent by Fowle on June 10 last year, which said: “I want to petrol bomb Camp America.”
But the court heard there was no evidence of any risk to Camp America with nothing to suggest Fowle had tried to use the explosive-making instructions or had any links with terrorist groups.
His barrister Gavin Holme said Fowle needed help to increase his maturity and that his guilty pleas showed his “remorse and responsibility”.
“This is a young man who the authorities can work with, and not against,” he said.
Sentencing Fowle, Judge Mark Dennis QC said: “This was shameful and very disturbing criminal behaviour.
“You have purported to embrace a vile mindset, which should have no place in a tolerant, democratic and peaceful society.”
The judge said a sentence of 20 months in a young offenders’ institution, suspended for two years, along with a 60-hour rehabilitation programme and 120 hours of unpaid work, would reduce the risk of Fowle re-engaging with the extreme right ideology.
He added: “I hope you listened to my words. You are being given a chance today. It’s not ‘mend your ways’, it’s ‘change your ways’.
“Wake up to how dreadful your views were and how dreadful your conduct was. You are part of a civilised society.”