Cornwall teen becomes one of UK's youngest convicted terrorists

The Old Bailey.

The teenage leader of a neo-Nazi cell has become one of Britain's youngest convicted terrorists.

The boy, from Cornwall, was aged just 13 when he began gathering terrorist material and went on to share far right extremist ideology in online chatrooms at the age of 14.

On Monday 1 February he appeared before the Old Bailey to be sentenced, having admitted 12 offences - two of dissemination of terrorist documents and 10 of possession of terrorist material.

The court heard between October 2018 and July 2019, the youth collected a significant amount of far right material and manuals and was active on online platforms, expressing racist, homophobic and anti-Semitic views.

The teen - who has to remain anonymous for legal reasons - talked about "gassing" Jewish people, hanging gay people and wanting to "shoot up their parades", the court heard.

In the summer of 2019, he became the British cell leader of the FKD - Feuerkrieg Division - a neo-Nazi group which idolises the likes of Anders Breivik, the court heard.

The court heard the banned network favoured actions over words and encouraged individuals to commit "lone wolf" attacks.

The defendant liaised with FKD's 13-year-old "commander" in Estonia and was responsible for vetting and recruiting members and propaganda, it was claimed.

One of his five recruits was teenager Paul Dunleavy, who was convicted of terrorism offences relating to his activities as a member of FKD in 2019 and with whom he discussed the acquisition of firearms, the court was told.

The defendant also allegedly commissioned a "Nuke London" poster which bore an image of an atom bomb cloud explosion over the Houses of Parliament with the slogan "Sterilise the cesspit that you call London".

Police raided the defendant's home on July 23 2019 as a result of information which suggested he had been trying to construct a weapon.

No weapons were found but his mobile phone and computer were seized.

During the search, officers found a Nazi flag and a copy of a neo-Nazi text depicting post-apocalyptic sadistic violence.

The number "1488" - a well-known Nazi symbol - was also painted on to the garden shed.

In a police interview, the defendant, now aged 16, denied having had any racist, homophobic or anti-Semitic views, and said his comments and posts were just "to look cool".

He claimed he had been considering leaving FKD for about a month.

Prosecutor Naomi Parsons said: "The Crown do not accept he was planning to leave the group.

"The age is the alarming factor and his conduct betrays a maturity beyond his chronological age."

The defendant, who is on bail, attended the Old Bailey remotely from Plymouth.

In mitigation, Deni Matthews spoke of his troubled upbringing without a positive parental role model in his life.

The lawyer said: "A damaged young man sought approval by expressing views he certainly does not ascribe to now and was unlikely to have ascribed to genuinely at the time."

Judge Mark Dennis QC indicated that he would sentence the youth next Monday.