'Racist' Loughborough teenager accused of plotting Columbine-inspired massacre detained indefinitely

Michael Piggin will be detained indefinitely Photo: ITV News

A 'racist' teenager accused of plotting a Columbine-inspired massacre on Hitler's birthday has been detained indefinitely in hospital today for possessing an arsenal of weapons in his bedroom.

Michael Piggin outlined detailed plans of deadly attacks on two schools, the local mosque, council offices and Loughborough University in his diaries.

The A-level student, now 18, wrote about arming himself with guns, bombs, and knives in a deadly assault inspired by the Monster of Oslo Anders Breivik. But he claimed the details of his 'Operation' were a way of venting his anger rather than serious plans.

Two successive juries could not decide whether he was guilty or not and defendants are never tried for third time.

Michael Piggin's bedroom Credit: Leicestershire Police

The teenager's bedroom floor was littered with knives, air guns, a machete, and a crossbow, while a Nazi swastika flag took pride of place on his wall.

Piggin built pipe bombs, smoke grenades and improvised explosives in his bedroom and tested Molotov cocktails behind the local leisure centre.

He was sentenced to indefinite detention under Section 37 and Section 41 of the mental health act at the Old Bailey after previously pleading guilty to charges of possessing a knife and parts for an improvised explosive.

The Recorder of London judge Brian Barker described Piggin as 'outright racist' and noted his obsession with weaponry and the military.

You have a consuming preoccupation with guns and the methods used by the perpetrators of the Columbine massacre.

You struggled during your education, you suffered bullying and only recently made friends, namely with your co-defendants.

You indicated a long-term aim to join the army. What is particularly concerning is the sheer volume of anti-social writings. Cases of this type are fortunately rare but are of great concern to the public and normally attract long custodial sentences.

Given your long-term condition that is not appropriate. It's clear you need treatment and that the treatment is still at an early stage and cannot be continued in the community.

A hospital order is in my judgement the proper disposal. Potential danger to the public is uppermost in my mind.

A Section 37 and Section 41 order under the mental health act will provide you with the appropriate treatment and supervision as long as it is appropriate.

– Recorder of London judge, Brian Barker

Piggin was cleared of preparing an act of terrorism and other terror offences after a second Old Bailey jury could not reach a decision in May. Judge Barker formally delivered not guilty verdicts to the charges at the hearing today.

He was accused of plotting to carry out a mass killing on 20 April - Hitler's birthday and the date of the Columbine shootings. He allegedly threatened to kill television antiques dealer David Dickinson of Dickinson's Real Deal and said he wanted to blow up high street bargain chain Poundland because 'it's too expensive'.

It is said that his own mother branded him a future mass killer after he drew up a 'hit list' of pupils and teachers he wanted to murder. Piggin's mum compared him to Adam Lanza who fatally shot 20 schoolchildren and six staff at Sandy Hook Elementary School in the USA in December 2012, the court was told.

The teenager admitted taking air pistols into school and showing them to other pupils. In February last year he was arrested after brandishing a knife at a young boy and threatening to stab him for throwing an empty drinks can at him in Loughborough town centre.

Piggin, who has Asperger's Syndrome and suffers from depressive episodes, appeared in the dock wearing a Beatles t-shirt and was accompanied by three intermediaries. He has been detained in a medium security mental health facility for the past ten months.

Piggin allegedly hatched a plot to try and escape from the hospital with an accomplice by cutting through a wire fence. The teenager also attempted to convert a number of his fellow patients to Nazism, the court heard.

Michael Piggin had newspaper cuttings in his house Credit: Leicestershire Police

Piggin has been obsessed with fire and accelerants since he was a youngster and admitted to his doctor that he has set fires in his home and public areas, the court heard.

He also suffers from self-harm issues and has injured his hands by punching walls as well as scratching himself while at the facility.

Piggin denied he had been plotting terrorist acts and said his diary entries were not serious.

His lawyers claimed he had been just 'retreating into fantasy.'

Michael Piggin has served little short of the equivalent of three years custodial sentence. He pleaded guilty and should be given full credit for those guilty pleas. We submit the appropriate way to deal with this case is by way of a custodial sentence.

– Ali Bajwa QC

Piggin was charged with possessing an article for a purpose connected with terrorism, and possessing a document likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism.

He pleaded guilty to possessing an offensive weapon and possessing an article for a purpose connected with terrorism.

Two of Piggin's best friend were each sentenced to community orders last year after they admitted possessing petrol bombs and pipe bomb parts before the trial began.

The 18-year-old boys from Loughborough cannot be named because of an ongoing legal battle to grant them life-long anonymity.