Terror charges boy aged 16 pleads guilty

A 16-year-old boy has admitted possessing explosive chemicals and bomb-making books and diagrams.

The teenager pleaded guilty to two terror charges and another offence at Birmingham Magistrates' Court.

The boy was arrested at his home in Northamptonshire last year after he made comments on a US online chat room about a "school massacre".

He admitted possessing sulphur powder and potassium nitrate and a book on Semtex.

He also admitted possession of a quantity of prohibited images of children.

Mark Topping, prosecuting, said since his arrest the boy had been detained under the Mental Health Act in secure accommodation in the West Midlands area.

'Storm a school'

The court heard the Metropolitan Police had been passed an alert by agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) about the teenager's online comments.

He reportedly told someone in the chat room that "20 minutes from now I am going to storm a high school armed with a Magnum (handgun) and a Beretta (pistol)", the court heard.

The teenager then said he would "shoot until the police arrive and then shoot himself".

He had also posted several pictures of himself on a website posing with imitation firearms, one of which made reference to a high school.

The boy had kept a notebook written with "notes about plans to kill pupils at school", and a plan of where people sat at their desks, said Mr Topping.

Research he had carried out on his home computer uncovered an interest in serial killers and guns.

'Biggest mistake'

However, while the boy was deemed a risk by doctors, district judge Howard Riddle was told by the boy's father he had "never been physically aggressive" and was "quiet at school", according to consultant child psychologist Dr John Brian.

Dr Brian said the boy was also diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome which, if untreated ,could lead to "anxiety" and a "fixation" with particular topics.

Dr Brian said the boy had told him "none of it would have happened" and had expressed regret at what he had done.

"He has told me he thinks it was the biggest mistake of his life, and that he regrets it," said Dr Brian.

"He also said his sense of humour 'cruises at the boundary'."

Sentencing, Mr Riddle handed the boy an initial six-month hospital order under Section 37 of the Mental Health Act.

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