Nuneaton school shooting plot boy to be freed on appeal

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Image caption,
The boy told police he had suicidal thoughts at the time

A 15-year-old boy detained for taking a shotgun and 200 rounds of ammunition to his school in preparation for a mass shooting is to be freed.

The boy, who cannot be named, was described by a judge as a "model son" during a Court of Appeal hearing.

Lady Justice Hallett said he had shown only a "fleeting intention" to use the gun at his Warwickshire school last June, before contacting police.

She agreed with social workers who said he should be freed under supervision.

The teenager, who also took a balaclava into the Nuneaton school, admitted having the weapon with the intention to endanger life and was sentenced to six years detention, at Warwick Crown Court in September.

Jailing him Judge Andrew Lockhart QC said: "A moment in time separated the pupils and staff of this school from being the subject of a terrible shooting that would have taken a dreadful place in history of truly wicked crimes committed in this country."

But Lady Justice Hallett, sitting with two other senior judges at the appeal court on Wednesday, acknowledged the boy quickly "came to his senses" after loading the gun and called police to the school himself.

'No disruptive behaviour'

"It was when he was putting on his ear protectors that he changed his mind and rang the police," she said.

The teenager, who had been suffering from severe depression and social anxiety at the time, had "exhibited no aggressive or disruptive behaviour before this incident," she said.

Agreeing with social workers' recommendations of a rehabilitation package that includes his release, she added: "We have concluded that this is a case in which the welfare of this child goes hand in hand with the protection of the public.

"We are satisfied that it would be appropriate, once we are informed the arrangements are in place, to follow the recommendations made."

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