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Would-be mass murderer faces 'a very substantial sentence in custody'

Credit: CPS

A teenager who plotted mass murder at his former college will be sentenced on Friday.

Liam Lyburd, 19, made up a 'kill bag' containing pipe bombs, a semi-automatic pistol and hollow-tipped expanding bullets which police discovered when they raided his bedroom in November 2014.

He admitted making a range of items but a jury convicted him of possessing them with an intent to endanger life at Newcastle College.

After his trial, Judge Paul Sloan QC warned Lyburd he was facing a "very substantial sentence in custody".

WATCH: Timeline of events in Liam Lyburd case

Jonny Blair recalls the events that took place in the time leading up to Liam Lyburd's arrest in November 2014.

The 19-year-old has this afternoon been convicted of planning mass murder at Newcastle College, after a trial at Newcastle Crown Court.

He will be sentenced on 25th September after a psychiatric report has been prepared.

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Liam Lyburd found guilty of plotting mass murder

Liam Lyburd Credit: Tom White/PA Archive

Liam Lyburd, 19, has been convicted of planning mass murder at Newcastle College, following a trial at Newcastle Crown Court.

He will be sentenced on 25th September after a psychiatric report has been prepared.

"You will appreciate only a very substantial sentence in custody is appropriate in this case."

– Judge Paul Sloan QC

Liam Lyburd had admitted nine charges relating to making five pipe bombs, two home-made explosive devices, possessing a handgun and ammunition and CS gas.

A jury found him guilty of eight charges of possessing those items with an intent to endanger life at Newcastle College. He had denied all eight charges.

"The safety of our students and staff is always our top priority and we would like to thank Northumbria Police, who we worked closely with throughout the incident."

– Newcastle College

The 19-year-old made a gesture with his fingers to his head as if he was shooting to himself as he was taken away from court.

Jury sent out in Liam Lyburd trial

Liam Lyburd at a previous hearing Credit: PA

The jury in the trial of Liam Lyburd, 19, who is accused of planning a mass murder at his former college in Newcastle, has been sent out to consider verdicts.

The teenager has pleaded guilty to nine charges relating to making five pipe bombs, two home-made explosive devices, possessing a handgun, bullets and CS gas. He denies eight charges of possessing those items with an intent to endanger life at Newcastle College.

The prosecution said he had told other people about his plans to attack the college when he was arrested at his home Newcastle last November. Liam Lyburd told the jury at Newcastle Crown Court that he was trying to get the attention of his friends online, that he was an internet troll, and that he had no intention of shooting anyone.

The prosecution case was that Lyburd was guilty if, at any time he had possession of the deadly weapons, his intention was to endanger life, even if he did not go through with the plan, Judge Paul Sloan QC told the jury.

"What may have begun as fantasy was all too real"

– Judge Paul Sloan QC

The defence case was that the jury could not be sure that he had any intention to endanger life, and his online chats were "no more than pathetic boasts", the judge said.

Outlining the defence case, Judge Sloan told the jury, "You cannot be sure, on the evidence you have heard, these were anything other than the crazy thoughts of a disturbed loner."

Buying gun was like 'buying a bar of chocolate'

A teenager accused of plotting a mass killing spree in Newcastle has told jurors that buying a gun off the internet was like "buying a bar of chocolate".

Liam Lyburd, 19, was caught with bombs, a gun and ammunition in November 2014. He is accused of planning an attack at Newcastle College in revenge for being kicked out two years earlier.

Newcastle Crown Court heard that Lyburd had boasted online about his plot to target the college and murder passengers on the Tyne and Wear Metro.

But he told jurors at his trial that he was simply a "troll" who wanted to cause people to panic.

When asked about sourcing the gun, he said:

Buying a gun was like buying a bar of chocolate. I didn't see it as a big deal at the time.

– Liam Lyburd

Lyburd, who admits possessing the weapons but denies having a desire to kill or cause harm, said he wanted people to believe he was about to do something but told the court that in reality he was too scared to leave the house.

The trial continues.

Bomb accused, Liam Lyburd paid tribute to US school gunman on Facebook

Liam Lyburd paid tribute on Facebook to an American teenager who carried out a school shooting, a jury heard.

  • Mr Lyburd, 19, is charged with possession of explosives, a gun and ammunition, and with intent to endanger life.
Liam Lyburd at a previous hearing. Credit: PA

Jaylen Fryberg, 15, shot dead four classmates at Marysville High School before turning the gun on himself last October, Newcastle Crown Court heard.

Mr Lyburd, 19, wrote on Facebook: "If a person treats another like a piece of crap every day don't be surprised if the person comes in shooting. Always be nice to people."

He added: "No-one listens to you when you say you are going to kill people, they only listen to you after you killed the people. No-one takes it seriously anymore.

"RIP Jaylen Fryberg."

Also on Mr Lyburd's page was a reference to the Batman Dark Knight cinema shootings, with a picture of a corpse and the wording: "Don't pirate movies they said, go to the premiere, they said."

Under it, he wrote: "Batman Dark Knight Rises premiere..."

And in his Facebook description, he wrote: "I'm getting crazier everyday. My fantasies are becoming a reality... without question, im loosing (sic) my mind. I am going to snap very soon..."

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