North Yorkshire schoolboys who planned Columbine-style attack sentenced at Leeds Crown Court
Two 15 year olds, who planned to re-enact the Columbine High School massacre at their school in a quiet market town in North Yorkshire, have been found sentenced at Leeds Crown Court today (20 July.) The older boy was imprisoned for 17 years, and the younger, for ten years.
On 24 May, after a three week trial, the older boy was found guilty of conspiracy to murder and unlawful wounding and the younger boy was found guilty of conspiracy to murder.
The court heard that the boys, then aged 14, became obsessed with Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, the two perpetrators of the 1999 American high school shooting, researching bomb-making techniques on the internet, searching the Dark Web, and planning to deploy explosives at the school to exact revenge on those against whom they held a grievance.
As their plans escalated, the older of the two boys carved his name into his girlfriend's back with a penknife.
The plot started to disintegrate when the younger boy began to tell his fellow pupils what was being planned. One of his classmates alerted a teacher and the police became involved.
Michael Quinn, Head of the Complex Casework Unit, CPS Yorkshire and Humberside said: "Far from being a dark but harmless teenage fantasy,this was a serious attempt at perpetrating a devastating mass killing.
"The CPS was able to produce evidence of internet searches conducted by the older boy, diary entries, and comments made to the defendants' fellow pupils which all demonstrate that this attack was being planned in earnest and deadly detail.
"Thankfully, the plans began to leak out, teachers were alerted and the police became involved.
"Today the two youths are beginning substantial prison sentences which reflect the severity of their offending."