Teenage neo-Nazi who planned Durham terror attack makes bid to protect identity

A TEENAGER neo-Nazi who planned a terror attack in his home city has made a bid to protect his identity becoming public.

The 17-year-old was sentenced in January to six years and eight months in custody after a jury found him guilty of preparation of terrorist acts between October 2017 and March last year.

When police searched his family home in Durham, they found a manifesto he had drafted which listed “areas to attack” such as schools, pubs and council buildings.

He also wrote of planning to conduct an arson spree with Molotov cocktails on local synagogues, while analysis of his computer devices and mobile phone uncovered numerous internet searches on firearms, explosives and knives as well as downloads of extremist far-right material.

His anonymity was due to expire on his 18th birthday this month but on Tuesday his lawyers submitted an application to continue the reporting restrictions.

On Wednesday, the Honorary Recorder of Manchester, Judge Nicholas Dean QC, granted an extension to the court order which keeps the youth’s anonymity in place until a further hearing at Manchester Crown Court on January 11 when the application will be heard in full.

Later the youth was given another custodial term at a different court for unrelated child sexual offences against a schoolgirl.

He appeared by video link at Leeds Youth Court where a district judge gave him an 18-month detention training order for five sexual assaults.

District Judge Richard Kitson told the 17-year-old this sentence will be concurrent with the term he is already serving.

He said: “These offences are so serious that only immediate custody is appropriate.”

Mr Kitson said: “The offences (against the girl) are wholly different to those that have resulted in your current sentence and, in theory, consecutive sentences would be justified.

“I think that would be inappropriate in view of the extended sentence which you are currently serving.”

The boy had denied the offences but was found guilty at a trial earlier this year.

Sentencing him for the terrorism offences earlier this year, the previous Recorder of Manchester, Judge David Stockdale QC, found the teenager’s subsequently diagnosed autism spectrum disorder did play some part.

He described the youth as “highly intelligent, widely read, quick-thinking and articulate” but told him that it was “a matter of infinite regret that you pursued at such a young age a twisted and – many would say – a sick ideological path”.

His trial heard that by December 2018 he had joined an extreme right-wing website forum, said to be an online meeting ground for fascists who wrote about “direct actions”.

On the first day he accessed the forum, the teenager downloaded a manual which contained a viable recipe for the highly explosive chemical ammonium nitrate, and later posted on the site a publication which contained instructions on the making of homemade firearms, ammunition and silencers – which had the potential to endanger lives, the judge said.

The youth was also unanimously found guilty of disseminating a terrorist publication, possessing an article for a purpose connected with terrorism and three counts of possessing a document or record containing information likely to be useful to a terrorist.

He was told he must also serve an extended licence period of five years and would not be considered for release by the Parole Board until two-thirds of his sentence was complete.

The Northern Echo | Durham