Gloucestershire teen sentenced for extreme right wing terrorism offences

Police arrested the teen in 2019. He was just 15 at the time of most of the offences. Credit: PA

A teenager from Gloucestershire has been sentenced after downloading instruction manuals about extreme violence and how to make explosives.

The 17-year-old boy, from Gloucestershire, appeared at Bristol Youth Court on Thursday 29 July where he was given a 12-month referral order for offences he committed under the Terrorism Act.

He admitted 11 different offences - most of which took place when he was 15 years old - and police found extreme right wing material including information on Satanic Neo-Nazi practices at his home.

The boy - who cannot be named for legal reasons - will now have to take part in a programme of rehabilitation and will be subject to a number of strict conditions.

He will be monitored by the Probation Service and youth offending services and if he breaches his conditions, he will return to court and could be given a prison sentence.

The boy was sentenced by Chief Magistrate Senior District Judge Paul Goldspring having previously pleaded guilty to 11 counts under section 58 of the Terrorism Act 2000 for offences of collecting material of use to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism.

The teenager was arrested by Gloucestershire Constabulary officers and Counter Terrorism Policing South West in December 2019. He was 15 at the time of all the offences bar one, which happened when he had turned 16.

As part of the subsequent investigation, several digital media devices were seized by police and officers identified a number of instructional manuals including detailed guides on how to make numerous explosives, improvised explosive devices, poisons and different methods of killing using hand held weapons.

In addition to the 11 documents forming the charges, there were numerous extreme right wing ideological documents recovered.

They included information on a predicted race war and the collapse of society, Satanic Neo-Nazi practices and some containing very graphic portrayals of sadistic violence.

There were also a significant amount of extreme right wing images and videos recovered as well as evidence of participation in online chat platforms of a similar nature.

The devices contained numerous images of the boy performing Nazi salutes, making White Power signs, posing with imitation firearms and memes idolising mass killers such as Anders Breivik.

Police found Nazi and extreme right wing symbols scratched into his desk when they searched his home.

Head of Counter Terrorism Policing South West, Detective Superintendent Craig McWhinnie said: “This investigation is another stark reminder of the hateful and damaging material found online that for all of us, is only a few clicks away.

"This material creates a very real risk to the young and vulnerable in our communities, in our schools and indeed, in our own homes. This is especially true over the course of the pandemic where young people spend more time online, often alone and unsupervised.

“We would encourage those who care for young persons to have honest and frank conversations about online activity, to look out for the signs that indicate a potential shift in beliefs or attitude and to be intrusive on occasion to ensure they are safe online."

  • The Act Early website has a wealth of information for anyone with concerns to help them understand what radicalisation looks like and provides advice on what to do in the first instance.