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Right-wing supremacist sentenced over plot to kill worshipping Muslims while disguised as armed police officer

|News, Terrorism

A teenage right-wing supremacist has been sentenced to 10 years' imprisonment after he was convicted of planning to disguise himself as an armed police officer and kill Muslims worshipping at nearby mosques.

Joe Metcalfe

Joe Metcalfe, 17, researched how to carry out the attack in imitation of the mass shootings in Christchurch New Zealand in 2019 and Buffalo in 2022.

He was arrested on June 21 2022 and charged seven days later.

He was sentenced at Leeds Crown Court today to a prison term of 10 years with an extended licence period of six years after being found guilty after trial of preparing to commit an act of terrorism, having already pleaded guilty to encouraging others to commit terrorism, disseminating terrorist publications, and possessing a bladed article. He has already served 500 days in custody.

He was also sentenced today following a separate trial for charges of multiple rape, and coercive / controlling behaviour against a teenage girl.

Nick Price, head of the CPS Special Crime and Counter Terrorism Division, said: “Although he spent time watching and sharing violent, racist, homophobic and antisemitic videos, these were not idle fantasies. He made a detailed plan to murder Muslims at a nearby mosque while disguised as an armed police officer, record the killings and escape.

"He stole his father’s car to carry out a reconnaissance mission, contacted a gun seller to try and secretly ship a weapon to the UK, and but for apprehension intended to carry out the attack.

“Despite his young age his beliefs and willingness to take violent action to propagate them are a threat to our society, and it is right that he has been sentenced today for those crimes." 

The CPS worked closely with Counter Terrorism Policing North-East, whose officers investigated the case before the CPS authorised charges and brought the prosecution.

Detective Chief Superintendent James Dunkerley, Head of Counter Terrorism Policing North- East, said: “We are satisfied that this individual acted in isolation and our quick response prevented this escalating further.

“We have successfully worked alongside partners to ensure that this individual has been brought to justice.

“I hope this provides yet another example of how robustly we will deal with this type of behaviour and these actions. It will not be tolerated."

Notes to editors

  • Joe Metcalfe [25/09/2006] of Bradford was found guilty after trial of preparing to commit an act of terrorism on or before 21 June 2022.
  • He admitted:
    • 4 x disseminating a terrorist publication on dates between March 2022 and June 2022 Possession of a bladed article
    • Encouragement of terrorism
  • He was also sentenced for separate charges of multiple rape, and coercive controlling behaviour which he was found guilty of at trial.
  • Each of the sentences will run concurrently.
  • The Court lifted his anonymity today as it sentenced him.

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